Islamabad-The Islamabad High Court Monday maintained its order of suspending the operation of an FIR registered against Deputy Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Muhammad Imtiaz Tajwar on corruption charges against him.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui conducted hearing of the petition moved by the deputy chairman NAB against registration of FIR against him on charges of corruption and misuse of authority during his appointment as Chairman NADRA and issue aforementioned directions in this matter. However, no court proceedings could be occurred as it was informed the court that petitioner’s counsel Shah Khawar Advocate could not appear before it due to his engagements in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Therefore, the court maintained its previous orders of suspending the operation of the FIR and deferred the hearing till April 20 for further proceedings in this matter.

Previously, Shah Khawar had contended before the court that his client is a grade 22 officer and in case, if there were corruption allegations against a grade 22 officer, only federal anti-corruption council can initiate proceedings and FIA is not authorised to take action in this matter.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Tajwar on charges of corruption as well as misuse of authority when he was performing his duties as Chairman National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). In this connection, the investigation authority has registered FIR against him under sections 409, 109 of Pakistan Penal Code and r/w 5(2)47 prevention of corruption act (PCA) at FIA corporate crime circle police station.

The deputy chairman NAB moved the petition through his counsel Shah Khawar Advocate and nominated Interior Secretary, Director General (DG) Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Director General, Deputy Director and Assistant Director FIA as respondents. In his petition, he stated that FIA registered this FIR against him and two others without any complaint from NADRA or anyone else. He contended that FIR was lodged against him for an occurrence of 2014/15 and inquiry was initiated in September 2016. At relevant time, petitioner was serving as additional secretary Ministry of Interior and in January 2014 he was given additional charge of Chairman NADRA till appointment of a regular Chairman. Petitioner kept serving as Chairman NADRA till February 6, 2015.

Tajwar argued that under rule 5 of the FIA inquiries and investigation rules 2002, FIA could not have initiated an inquiry against him without prior approval of NADRA.

He added that allegations against him for criminal breach of trust were baseless. He maintained that his entire career is unblemished and inquiry has been initiated against him on the whims and wishes of high-ups sitting in the Ministry of Interior. The deputy chairman NAB maintained that after receiving a questionnaire from an Assistant Director FIA, petitioner responded the same and has been requesting the respondents to allow him an opportunity to confront with the record that was not available with the petitioner.

He said that denying petitioner’s access to the record is depriving his access to the fair trial. He informed the court that during his tenure as Chairman NADRA, the registration authority earned a record profit of Rs3.8 billion. The petitioner continued that he also did not draw a salary as Chairman NADRA and it was during his tenure that complete audit of the authority was done. The audit report was submitted after petitioner left the charge and not a single para in the audit report pointed an irregularity towards him. He adopted that he is being politically victimised. Therefore, he prayed to the court to declare initiation of inquiry and registration of FIR as mala fide and unlawful and the same may be quashed.