SC orders immediate arrest of former OGRA chief Sadiq

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The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ordered the authorities concerned to immediately arrest former Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) chairman Tauqir Sadiq and initiate proceedings against him in accordance with the law. A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was hearing a case pertaining to OGRA’s malpractices. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials told the court that the bureau had checked up on all possible addresses to locate the former chairman OGRA and that Sadiq was currently in Lahore, not in the US. The officials further alleged that the Punjab Police was providing protection to Sadiq, who was said to be a close relative of Pakistan People’s Party Secretary General Senator Jahangir Badar. Chief Justice Chaudhry ruled that regardless of address of Sadiq, the former OGRA chief must be arrested. The chief justice also ordered the initiation of proceedings against Sadiq in accordance with the law. On the occasion, the NAB’s prosecutor told the court that a reference had been prepared against Sadiq that would be filed in two days’ time. Moreover, Chief Justice Chaudhry said NAB’s mandate was to eliminate corruption, adding that the court wanted the implementation of its orders at all costs. On November 25 last year, the court had declared the appointment of Sadiq as chairman OGRA illegal and had ordered NAB to investigate corruption cases against him and submit its findings within 45 days.