‘Catch me if you can’: Ex-OGRA chief continues to dodge his pursuers

Despite apex court deadline, police and NAB fail to arrest Tauqeer Sadiq.

Umer Nangiana December 27, 2012
Despite apex court deadline, police and NAB fail to arrest Tauqeer Sadiq. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The police and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) teams have failed to arrest former Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) chief Tauqeer Sadiq even as the Wednesday deadline set by the country’s apex court ended.

Sadiq, sources said, was in Pakistan and was using his contacts in Parliament and the bureaucracy to gain time and remain out of the security agencies’ reach while trying to wriggle himself out of the alleged corruption case.

“We are very close to arresting Sadiq,” insisted a NAB official, adding that he would be arrested and presented before the Supreme Court at all costs no matter what authority Sadiq approaches. A two-member bench of the apex court hearing Ogra malpractices last week ordered the police and NAB to arrest Sadiq and present him before the bench by December 26.

His appointment was declared illegal and the court said Sadiq was responsible for a loss worth Rs82 billion to the public exchequer through malpractices in Ogra. He was also held responsible for the current CNG crisis in the country.

Consequently, NAB was directed to investigate Sadiq for malpractices, nepotism and corruption.

However, the accountability bureau has failed to make any substantive headway in the investigations besides failing to arrest him.

Meanwhile, Sadiq has maintained his innocence and sources say he has been making all-out efforts to prove the allegations wrong. His attempts included writing letters to the Cabinet committee on Corruption, drafting a reference to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against the bench of the apex court judges including the chief justice and a human rights violation application to the United Nations.

A police source, who was part of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), said that Sadiq has told some media outlets that he has filed a reference against judges in the Supreme Court. However, his claims could not be verified independently. The police official said no reference could save Sadiq from arrests now. “We have to comply with the apex court orders which are very clear: his arrest,” he said.

Sources said the former Ogra chief recently wrote a letter to the cabinet committee investigating NAB’s claims that the country was losing billions of rupees every day because of corruption. In his letter, Sadiq maintained that he too was made a victim of “such baseless allegations where NAB made claims that were hard to substantiate”. He has also asked for permission to make a statement before the committee, sources said.

In his letter to the UN, Sadiq has made the state of Pakistan a party and prayed that the Supreme Court judges have violated his basic human rights by ordering NAB to investigate him without giving him a chance to get heard, it was revealed.

He has continued to maintain that he was not involved in any corruption or malpractice. “Certain elements wanted to remove me from the position of chairman and they used the legal cover of the Supreme Court that was hijacked by the judges who were biased against me,” Sadiq maintained in his over 40-point application to the UN that he has made public. He added that a false case of embezzlement of Rs52 billion was crafted against him.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 27th, 2012.



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