Multi-billion scam: Member OGRA gets pre-arrest bail

Maintains he filed written replies to NAB’s accusations.

Mudassir Raja February 13, 2013
Financial losses in fiscal year 2011-12 were recovered from consumers through a gas price hike, stated the petitioner. PHOTO: FILE


Member Finance Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) on Wednesday obtained pre-arrest interim bail after he was declared an absconder by the anti-corruption watchdog in a multi-billion scam along with former chairman Tauqir Sadiq.

Justice Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Ali Baqir Najafi of the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) Rawalpindi bench directed Kamal Fareed Bijrani to furnish two surety bonds each worth Rs10 million and deferred the hearing till February 19. The LHC’s division bench issued notices to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to respond to Bijrani’s bail who had pleaded innocence.

In his bail plea Bijrani, son of former chief justice of Balochistan High Court Khuda Bakhsh Marri, said NAB has issued his arrest warrants as he was in Switzerland on ex-Pakistan leave to attend his ailing mother. He said NAB had unjustly declared him an accused to shift focus away from Sadiq. Dispelling the impression of being an absconder, Bijrani said he had extended his stay in Switzerland on doctors’ advice.

Two other accused in the case had already obtained bail from the LHC’s Rawalpindi bench and as rule of consistency he stated he should also be granted pre-arrest bail.

NAB had accused Bijrani of causing losses to the national exchequer in the form of Gas Development Surcharge by increasing the benchmark of unaccounted for gas (UFG) or untraced gas losses to 70 per cent and conversion of operational income into non-operating income in a report submitted to the apex court last August. He is also accused of permitting relocation of CNG stations and industries in violation of policy.

In his bail petition Bijrani said he had appeared before the NAB investigators and submitted written replies to their questions. He stated that the revision of the rate of UFG and conversion of operational income were the result of interim orders by provincial high courts in 2010 and 2011 after the companies went into litigation.

Financial losses in fiscal year 2011-12 were recovered from consumers through a gas price hike, stated the petitioner. As for relocating CNG stations, Bijrani maintained that he asked the applicants to approach the federal cabinet for policy guidelines but Sadiq overruled the objection. Ex-OGRA chief Tauqir Sadiq is accused of causing a loss of Rs82 billion to the national exchequer.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2013.


Clear Black Bag | 10 years ago | Reply

This happens only in Pakistan because this Pakistan is Islamic Republic of Pakistan......

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