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NAB prepares reference against PM in OGRA case

01 February, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court was informed on Thursday that NAB had prepared a reference against incumbent Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and other 11 other accused in the matter related to the illegal appointment of the former chairman of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), Tauqeer Sadiq.

During the proceedings of the multi-billion-rupee corruption scam, NAB Deputy Director Waqas Ahmed Khan told the SC that former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani was also among the 11 accused in this case.

He said that the NAB regional director general had approved the reference, which now required NAB chairman's signature. Waqas also informed the court that NAB officer Kausar Iqbal had asked him to disassociate himself from the case, but he had refused to do so.

Meanwhile, a two-member bench of Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain has directed NAB and FIA to submit a comprehensive report pertaining to actions taken regarding the arrest of former OGRA chairman Tauqeer Sadiq, the prime accused in the Rs 82 billion scam. During the hearing, FIA Director (Legal) Azam Khan told the bench that Tauqeer Sadiq was arrested in UAE on January 13 and a report in this regard was sent to NAB Headquarters, stating that the FIA was arranging for documents in order to meet the extradition requirements of Interpol.

Responding to a query of the bench, Khan submitted that Interpol UAE had clearly expressed that without going through the procedure of extradition, Tauqeer Sadiq would not be allowed to leave the UAE.

To this, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja observed that it was the FIA who provided passport to Sadiq who flew out from Pakistan, adding that it seemed that under the prevailing circumstance, the former OGRA chief's return from the UAE was impossible. Admonishing the authorities concerned, Justice Khawaja said that no progress had been shown in the current matter even after a lapse of 15 days.

Azam Khan submitted that the UAE attorney general had communicated to the FIA that once granted, a residential visa could not be cancelled. Waqas told the bench that he had contacted with Interpol's official concerned over resolving the complications in the extradition of Sadiq, but he found no response.

The court was informed that Sadiq was granted a visa of cashier on behalf of a confectionary business outlet in the UAE in September 2012 for three years, which had now been cancelled. The investigator also told the bench that NAB was trying to arrest a person, Imran, who was found involved in sending a substantial amount to Taqueer Saqiq. The hearing has been adjourned until February 7.


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