ISLAMABAD, Nov 11: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) set aside on Monday the conviction of Tauqir Sadiq, a former chairman of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), by an accountability court on May 7.
The accountability court of Rawalpindi had sentenced the former Ogra
chairman to three years in prison for failing to appear at the hearing of a corruption reference against him.
An IHC division bench comprising Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan and Justice Noorul Haq N. Qureshi, however, did not grant bail to Mr Sadiq
Mr Sadiq, the principal accused in a Rs82 billion scam, fled abroad after the Supreme Court had declared his appointment as Ogra chief illegal on Nov 25, 2011, and ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to start an investigation against him.
During the hearing, NAB's Additional Deputy Prosecutor General Barrister Saeedur Rehman presented before the court a detailed record of Mr Sadiq's
stay and travel abroad while he
was a proclaimed offender.
said that the former Ogra chief had shown himself as a 'cash desk clerk' in 'Al Noor Bakers' for obtaining a UAE visa.
According to the travel details, Mr Sadiq
, whose name had been placed on the Exit Control List on January 1 last year, crossed the Torkham border and entered Afghanistan on June 18.
got an Afghan visa the same day despite the fact that it was a holiday there.
On June 21, Sadiq
fled to the UAE wherefrom he
went to Sri Lanka on Aug 19.
then went to Nepal on Nov 28 and on Jan 27 again entered the UAE where Interpol traced him and arrested him on Jan 28.
was extradited to Pakistan on July 9.
The NAB prosecutor said Mr Sadiq
could have challenged the conviction within 10 days after the judgment was announced, under Section 32 of the NAO 1999.
had challenged the conviction after a lapse of five months.