The Supreme Court of Pakistan has directed the federal government to submit a reply within 15 days to a petition challenging the appointment of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Chairman Tauqeer Sadiq.
A three-member bench headed by Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan issued the order on Thursday while hearing a civil petition filed by Tahir M Sheikh against Sadiq and others.
The petitioner had contended that Sadiq holds a fake Masters of Law (LLM) degree and accused him of involvement in massive corruption while he headed Ogra.
During the hearing, the cabinet division submitted a report that had the authority known that Sadiq held a fake degree, it would not have appointed him as the chairman of Ogra.
The report also stated that the Federal Public Service Commission had already sent a report on Sadiq’s misconduct where he granted new connections to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations, ignoring government directions and policies and also made illegal transfers. Sadiq was forced to go on leave for three months after the violation and Mansoor Muzaffar Ali was appointed as acting chief.
Ikram Sheikh, Sadiq’s counsel, pleaded that the petition should be declared non-maintainable because his client was suspended. But the bench rejected his request and issued notices to the federation to submit a written reply. Hearing was adjourned till the last week of September.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2011.