ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Interior Tuesday imposed a major penalty of dismissal from service on the FIA officer who was removed from his position on allegations of compromising the inquiry on sugar scandal earlier this year.

“On the basis of the charge sheet, findings of the inquiry and perusal of the record, I being the Authority, impose major penalty of ‘Dismissal from Service’ upon Mr Sajjad Mustafa Bajwa, Deputy Director FIA,” said an order issued from the office of Secretary Interior.

According to the official sources, the inquiry officer concluded that Bajwa was “found guilty of charges of inefficiency, leaking of sensitive information and violation of the Government Servants (Conduct) Rules, 1964 by appearing on media with a self pro-claimed defence not based on facts.”

On April 21 this year, the Ministry of Interior had placed Bajwa under suspension on charges of compromising the then on-going inquiry on the sugar crisis. At that time, the officer while posted in cybercrime wing of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)’s Lahore Zone was assisting the Inquiry Commission on Sugar Crisis and was removed on allegations of leaking sensitive information to some sugar mills owners.

Some media reports then suggested that the officer was removed to hush up some facts revealed by the investigation. The federal government had formed an inquiry commission headed by Director General FIA Wajid Zia to probe causes of the skyrocketing prices of sugar in the country, and allegation of hoarding of sugar and “unjustified” export policy of the commodity by the government. The commission had decided to hold forensic audit of some sugar mills.

According to the dismissal order of Bajwa, FIA had forwarded charge sheet and statement of allegations against the “delinquent officer” on April 30.

The additional secretary-III of the Ministry of Interior who was authorised inquiry officer, under the powers delegated by the Secretary Interior, had served charge sheet and statement of allegations on the officer.

The officer opted not to join the inquiry proceedings, though he could have utilised the proceedings and placed his concerns before the inquiry officer, said the order. It added that the officer was served “Call Up” notices and warning letter, yet he did not join the inquiry proceedings and did not appear before the inquiry officer.

“Due to non-cooperative attitude of the delinquent officer, the Inquiry Officer made all possible efforts to serve notices upon the officer through “WhatsApp” and by getting the same pasted at the door of his residence,” the inquiry said. The Inquiry Commission on Sugar Crisis in its findings had named key political families of the country as the some of the beneficiaries of the increase in sugar prices and unjustified export policy of the sugar approved by the government.