On the run: SC gives one-day deadline to arrest former OGRA chief

Published: January 1, 2013

“No person is interested in arresting Tauqir Sadiq despite the fact that he was responsible for causing Rs83 billion [in] losses to the national kitty," remarked Justice Hussain. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

The Supreme Court on Monday gave a one-day deadline of December 31 (yesterday) to arrest the former chairman of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Tauqir Sadiq, who is allegedly involved in causing losses of Rs83 billion to the national exchequer.

But the Punjab police and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) made contradictory statements to the court regarding Sadiq fleeing the country.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain heard a case pertaining to corruption in Ogra and the arrest of its ex-chief Sadiq.

Punjab Inspector General of Police, Haji Habibur Rehman informed the apex court that Sadiq’s spouse and two daughters had flown to Kathmandu, Nepal a few days ago, adding that there was doubt whether he flew with them. Nonetheless, he said a three-member team has been dispatched to Nepal to arrest him if he is there.

The court asked Rehman how Sadiq’s family managed to escape the country. He replied that the FIA would be in a better position to answer the query as the agency’s personnel are posted at the airports.

Appearing before the apex court bench, Director (Legal) FIA, Azam Khan said that Tauqir’s wife Saiqa and his daughters left for Kathmandu on December 10 from Karachi. However, he added that they have no record in the system that Sadiq himself left the country.

“No person is interested in arresting Tauqir Sadiq despite the fact that he was responsible for causing Rs83 billion [in] losses to the national kitty, but not a single penny had been recovered from him as yet,” remarked Justice Hussain.

The court warned that both the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and police would be dealt in accordance with the law upon its failure to apprehend the former chairman for the last year-and-a-half.

Rehman said that the police was hopeful the former Ogra chief would be arrested by next week, as Punjab police and Kathmandu police were working together to arrest him.

Deputy Prosecutor NAB, Fozi Kazmi informed the bench that Shahzad Bhatti, a frontman of Sadiq, was arrested and they recovered Rs6 million from him.

The bench directed NAB to submit a comprehensive report on January 2 pertaining to the arrest of Sadiq, before adjourning the proceedings.

More in Pakistan