ISLAMABAD - National Accountability Bureau chairman and the prosecutor general don’t seem to be on the same page on the implementation of Supreme Court judgment in Tauqir Sadiq appointment as Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority chairman case.
Chairman NAB Qamar Zaman Chaudhry accedes to the jurisdiction of the apex court on the Ogra case, while Prosecutor General K K Agha stance is that the Supreme Court can’t direct the NAB regarding the matter.
The Supreme Court in its 25th November 2011 judgment declared the appointment of Tauqir Sadiq as illegal and void ab initio and ordered him to return all the salary and privileges drawn from the public exchequer in the course of his service as the chairman. The NAB was directed to submit a report in the apex court in this regard within a period of 45 days. The court also directed the NAB to probe the conduct of state functionaries, who were engaged in the process of his selection as chairman Ogra and submit the report.
During the proceeding, Chairman Qamar Zaman appearing before a three-judge bench, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, assured the court that he would himself look into the matter. He informed that on December 29, 2013 he had met with the top officials of the NAB regarding Ogra case.
He said that there are basically four issues in Rs 82 billion scam. First related to those who may have been responsible for, and involved in, the appointment of Tauqir Sadiq as Ogra chairman. The second is prosecution of Tauqir Sadiq and others and recovering the amount, which according to the initial investigation made by the NAB, exceeds Rs82 billion. The third is identifying persons who were prima facie, complicit in enabling Tauqir Sadiq to abscond and get out of Pakistan. The fourth is the case of whether persons within the NAB or outside of the bureau may have been less than diligent in pursuing the case.
He said that out of four the two issues would be discussed in the NAB Executive Board Meeting (EBM), adding the decision on all the four issues would be made soon.
NAB Prosecutor General K K Agha on the other hand argued that the Supreme Court has limited jurisdiction in the NAB affairs and could not direct it to file the reference against anyone. He said: “Instead of going into the wider issue the SC could question about the negligence and the delay only.”
Justice Jawwad remarked if the NAB considered that it was its exclusive jurisdiction to proceed in the Ogra case then they would shut the files and close the case.
Addressing K K Agha, he said they drive power in nature of ‘mandamus’ (a judicial writ issued as a command to an inferior court) and asked the PG you saying the apex court can’t direct the NAB. He said they have inquired from NAB as in the last 26 months, since its judgment, the Bureau showed no progress, adding the SC pursuing as the matter was legal.
The judge said that if the NAB attitude was that the SC could not interfere in their matters in the case then they would assign its investigation to FIA or the police.
Justice Jawwad asked the PG NAB that if some rules have to be delineated then do it today. However, K K Agha sought time for going through all the orders of the Supreme Court regarding the case.
The hearing is adjourned till Thursday.