FIA stopped from Tajwar case probe

IHC suspends FIR registered against NADRA’s ex-chief


Rizwan Shehzad March 31, 2017
Justice Kayani notes prosecution did not collect proper documentary evidence. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court suspended on Thursday operations of an FIR registered against a former chairman of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui barred the FIA from investigating the former chairman of the key public institution, Imtiaz Tajwar, till the final decision of the case and directed the respondents to appear before the court for the next hearing.

Tajwar has alleged that the FIA registered the case against him on the whims and wishes of the high-ups of the Ministry of Interior. Tajwar, through his counsel Shah Khawar, approached the IHC requesting it to quash the case registered for alleged irregularities committed during his period.

“Inquiry and registration of case is not only illegal from its very inception but carried out on the whims and wishes of the high-ups sitting in the echelons of the Ministry of Interior for reasons best known to them,” Khawar stated in the petition.

In October 2016, the Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had ordered the FIA to open formal investigations against Tajwar for the alleged irregularities while he led the institution.

The FIA Corporate Crime Circle, Islamabad, registered FIR against Tajwar and two others under sections 409, 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 5(2)47 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947, at the FIA Corporate Crime Circle police station.

In the petition, Khawar stated that the FIR has been lodged with mala fide intention and while eroding the provisions of the FIA Act, 1974, and the FIA (Inquiries and Investigation) Rules, 2002, and is liable to be quashed.

The counsel said that the alleged occurrence pertains to 2014/15 and enquiry was initiated in September 2016, adding that the petitioner was serving as additional secretary in the ministry of Interior and was given additional charge of NADRA chairman on January 13, 2014, till the appointment of a regular chairman.

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He said that the petitioner served as chairman Nadra (additional charge) till February 2016.

He added that during the period, Tajwar was promoted in BPS-22 on October 17, 2014, and was posted as Executive Director at the National Vocational and Training Commission.

In addition, Khawar maintained that when the petitioner held the charge as chairman NADRA, the national database authority earned a record profit of Rs3.8 billion. He stated that Tajwar did not draw any salary or allowance while serving in NADRA.

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Besides, he said, not a single observation or audit para pointed out towards any irregularity or illegality in two audit reports of NADRA. “The petitioner has been alleged under political victimisation and character assassination,” the petition read.

Khawar also said that no prior permission for initiation of inquiry as well as registration of FIR has been obtained from the Federal Anti-Corruption Council.

He added that no prior permission has been obtained from the President of Pakistan, who approved appointment of petitioner as deputy chairman NAB, which is sheer violation of constitution and NAB ordinance, 1999.

He has prayed the court to declare the FIR unlawful and same may be quashed.

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