ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Monday rejected a NAB report about the corruption of Rs83 billion during the tenure of former Orga chairman Tauqir Sadiq, directing the bureau to implement the court order in three weeks and file a comprehensive report.

On Nov 25 last year, the court had announced the judgment and declared the appointment of Tauqir Sadiq as chairman of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) illegal and ordered NAB to investigate corruption cases against him and submit its findings within 45 days. But the matter remains in limbo apparently because of NAB officials’ inefficiency and political influence.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, hearing the contempt of court case against Tauqir Sadiq directed the NAB not to harass anyone unnecessarily, so that relief could be given to those who respect the law.

But the court observed that NAB officials have failed to arrest the big fish involved. The court had ordered serving NAB Chairman Admiral (r) Fasih Bokhari to submit a concise report, duly signed by him, suggesting efforts to recover the Rs83 billion embezzled money and follow-up actions against the accused.

Showing his annoyance over the Tauqir Sadiq escape from the country, the chief justice inquired how the former Ogra chairman managed to travel to New York despite his name being on the Exit Control List. NAB Deputy Prosecutor Fozi Zafar stated that Tauqir left the country on July 25, but it was unclear from the record as to where he had gone.

A dissatisfied CJ said that all this was dilly dallying. The court asked the investigation officer whether he inquired from the interior secretary or Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) about Tauqir’s fleeing the country. He just replied that the FIA has been taken into the loop on the matter.

Appearing as a representative of Tauqir, Dr Abdul Basit told the court that he had contacted the former Ogra chief, adding if the court would order then his client would come back to Pakistan. Basit presented a power of attorney from Taquir to plead his case. The court pointed out that Tauqir had left the country 20 days ago, but the signature on the power of attorney are of six days ago. The counsel replied that before leaving the country Tauqir had signed 5 to 6 power of attorney. But the court rejected the document and his plea to plead Taquir’s case. The chief justice asked Dr Basit that he should have not taken the case of an absconder, adding that if the former Ogra chief wants any relief, he will have to appear before the court.

The NAB on August 7 had submitted a report before the bench in which Tauqir Sadiq has been accused of causing a loss of Rs83 billion to the national exchequer. The report also stated that Ogra ex-chief enhanced the UFG rate from 5 to 7 percent that caused the national exchequer a loss of Rs44 billion. The report said that now the Ogra has withdrawn that notification. The court asked the Dewan Group, which wanted to become party in the case, to contact the NAB. The case was adjourned for three weeks.

SC rejects NAB report in Ogra corruption case