ISLAMABAD - Former chairman Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) Tauqir Sadiq has approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against his three-year conviction in absentia for the multi-billion corruption by an Accountability Court of Rawalpindi.

Tauqir Sadiq who is the prime accused in the 82 billions rupees mega scam, was awarded three-year imprisonment by an accountability court Rawalpindi on May 7, 2013 under section 31-A of the NAB ordinance 1999 after he did not appear before the court despite repeated notices.

The court had also directed the NAB to seize all his moveable and immoveable property and bank accounts.

Under the law, Sadiq could have filed an appeal against his conviction within a one-month time but he has moved the court against his conviction after more than two months. Now an IHC bench would hear the appeal with this objection that the appeal is time barred. However, the court is yet to fix a date for hearing of Tauqir Sadiq’s petition challenging his conviction.

The ex-chairman of OGRA has moved the court through his counsel Sardar Asmatullah advocate. In his petition, he maintained that the accountability court did not give him the chance to defend the allegations levelled against him.

Tauqir contended that his case was not decided on merit and that the subsequent three-year jail term was unjust.

He requested the court that his conviction may be removed and all orders of the Accountability Court regarding to the confiscation of his property be declared null and void.

It is pertinent to mention here that Sadiq is an accused of embezzling Rs82 billion through issuance of the CNG licences and mismanagement. He is currently in NAB’s custody. He had escaped from the country soon after the Supreme Court declared his appointment as illegal and directed NAB to initiate a criminal investigation against him. The preliminary investigation report of NAB suggested that Sadiq misappropriated Rs82 billion in issuance of CNG licenses to different companies.