ISLAMABAD  - A division bench of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday annulled the three-year sentence of former Ogra chairman Tauqir Sadiq awarded to him by an accountability court for his alleged involvement in a multi-billion rupee corruption case.

The IHC bench comprising Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan and Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi issued the order after hearing the arguments of both the sides but the court refused to grant Tauqir bail in the corruption case.

Former chief of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), who is the prime accused in the 82 billion rupee mega scam, had approached the high court against his conviction in absentia by a Rawalpindi Accountability Court (AC).

Tauqir was awarded three-year imprisonment on May 7 this year under section 31-A of the NAB Ordinance-1999 after he did not appear before the court despite repeated notices. The court had also directed the NAB to seize all his moveable and immoveable property and bank accounts.

In his petition, filed through his counsel Sardar Asmatullah advocate, Ogra ex-chairman maintained that the accountability court did not give him chance to defend the allegations levelled against him. He contended that his case was not decided on merit and that the subsequent three-year jail term was unjust. He requested the court to revoke his conviction as well as AC orders regarding confiscation of his property.

Tauqir Sadiq is an accused of embezzling billions of rupees through issuance of the CNG licences in violation of the prescribed rules. He is currently in NAB's custody. He had fled the country soon after the Supreme Court declared his appointment as illegal and directed NAB to initiate a criminal investigation against him. The preliminary investigation report of NAB suggested that he misappropriated Rs82 billion in issuance of CNG licenses to different companies.