Supreme Court di­rects FS for tak­ing steps over Tauqeer's ex­tra­di­tion

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

The Supreme Court on Thurs­day di­rected sec­re­tary min­istry of for­eign af­fairs for tak­ing all the steps and re­moval of de­fi­cien­cies in ex­tra­di­tion is­sue of former head of Oil and Gas Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity (OGRA) Tauqeer Sadiq,from United Arab Emi­rates for en­sur­ing his im­me­di­ate re­turn to the coun­try.

A two-Judge bench com­pris­ing Jus­tice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Jus­tice Khilji Arif Hus­sain in its or­der also ex­pressed dis­sat­is­fac­tion over a report submitted by an ad­di­tional sec­re­tary min­istry of for­eign af­fairs.

The sec­re­tary was or­dered to sub­mit his report prior to March 11 de­tail­ing rea­sons for the de­fi­cien­cies in rel­e­vant doc­u­ments re­quired for Tauqeer's ex­tra­di­tion.

The bench was hear­ing a suo motu case re­gard­ing non­im­ple­men­ta­tion of its ver­dict of May 25, 2011, in which it had de­clared ap­point­ment of former OGRA chief as il­le­gal and gave find­ings against him for caus­ing a colos­sal losses of Rs.82 bil­lion to the na­tional ex­che­quer.

The bench on a point of Khawaja Haris, an ami­cus cu­riae (friend of the court), about luke­warm re­sponse of an Accountability Court seized of the is­sue, also di­rected it to sub­mit record of the ar­rest war­rant is­sued for Tauqeer Sadiq.

The bench in its or­der noted that it was sur­prised and taken aback that the Na­tional Accountability Bureau did not know the rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion over ex­tra­di­tion laws.

Dur­ing course of pro­ceed­ings, Pros­e­cu­tor Gen­eral (PG) NAB Karim Khan Agha that they were feel­ing frus­trated with hin­drances. He said that they had sought as­sis­tance of the broth­erly coun­try over the is­sue but were bound by their laws.

Jus­tice Jawwad S. Khawaja ob­served that the fact re­mained that the NAB had not taken any ac­tion against those who had been, prima fa­cie, in­volved in the scam.

He said that a com­plaint could have been lodged against the per­sons re­spon­si­ble for ob­struc­tion of jus­tice. KK Agha replied that an in­quiry in this re­gard had al­ready been or­dered by the chair­man NAB and an im­par­tial per­son was de­puted to dig out the facts over Tauqeer's de­layed ex­tra­di­tion process.

Jus­tice Khawaja said that a year and three months had lapsed since they laid down a ver­dict. "We are here just to find out the le­gal pro­vi­sions which can be ap­pli­ca­ble against the re­spon­si­ble.We are not frus­trated but want to pro­ceed in ac­cor­dance with le­gal pro­vi­sions," he added.

The PG ap­prised that they would send NAB team to fol­low pro­ceed­ings at Dubai and ob­tain in­for­ma­tion over ex­tra­di­tion is­sue.

Jus­tice Khawaja ex­press­ing his dis­may, re­marked that in his view,the ab­scond­ing ac­cused could not be brought back as he had pre­dicted ear­lier be­cause their hopes with NAB had not been ful­filled. Khawaja Haris, former ad­vo­cate gen­eral Pun­jab and ami­cus cu­riae in the case, ap­prised the bench that the re­quired pro­ce­dure for ex­tra­di­tion of the ac­cused had not been fol­lowed.

He said that the au­thor­i­ties in Dubai had been in­formed through In­ter­pol team from Is­lam­abad that Tauqeer and Shah Rukh Ja­toi had been wanted in Pak­istan in mur­der case which led to com­pli­ca­tion of the is­sue.

He said that no rep­re­sen­ta­tive from State of Pak­istan or even from the NAB had been as­so­ci­ated with the de­por­ta­tion is­sue. Jus­tice Jawwad S.Khawaja said that it was also ev­i­dent from the report submitted by the NAB it­self. He said that in their ear­lier or­der, they had called for le­gal as­sis­tance of a coun­sel in Dubai which was not heeded to.

He said that the law would take its course and the re­spon­si­ble would have to face con­se­quences. He said the Court was not a fo­rum for con­vict­ing any­one, as the re­spon­si­ble would have to face due process and fair trial un­der Ar­ti­cle 10A of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

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