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