Alleged corruption: FIA can probe ex-NADRA chief

Published: May 10, 2017
Islamabad High Court dismisses petition filed by Imtiaz Tajwar. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Islamabad High Court dismisses petition filed by Imtiaz Tajwar. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) can investigate a former chairman of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) after a superior court dismissed a petition filed by the latter claiming that an FIR registered against him was done without following the rules.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed the petition of former NADRA chairman Imtiaz Tajwar. Justice Siddiqui had on Monday reserved verdict in the case after the prosecution and defence concluded their arguments.

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Previously, Justice Siddiqui had suspended the FIR registered against Tajwar and restrained the FIA from investigating the Basic Pay Service (BPS)-22 official till a final decision of the case.

But with the verdict released on Tuesday, the investigation agency can resume their probe into the case.

In October 2016, the Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had ordered the FIA to launch formal investigations against Tajwar for alleged irregularities during the time he led NADRA.

However while challenging the FIR, Tajwar in his petition had claimed that he was being politically victimised while his character was also being tarnished after the FIA had filed a case against him for alleged irregularities during the time he spent as NADRA’s chairman.

Tajwar had maintained that the investigation agency had not sought prior permission from the Federal Anti-Corruption Council for launching a probe or for registering an FIR was taken – a requirement for investigating a grade-22 public servant.

Additionally, the petitioner said, no prior permission was obtained from the president of Pakistan, who had approved Tajwar’s appointment as the deputy chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which was a sheer violation of the Constitution and NAB ordinance 1999.

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Submitting through his counsel Shah Khawar, Tajwar had approached the IHC,  requesting it to quash the FIR registered against him for alleged irregularities committed during his period. He further alleged that the FIA registered the case against him on the ‘whims and wishes’ of certain senior officials at the Ministry of Interior.

“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 the reasons best known to them,” Khawar stated in the petition, as he urged the court to declare the FIR as unlawful and quash it.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2017.

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