An accountability court has acquitted former prime ministers Yousuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf along with others named in a case concerning the improper appointment of the chairman of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), finding that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had failed to prove that the suspects were guilty of misusing their authority for financial gain.
In a case concerning Mr Tauqeer Sadiq’s appointment as the chairman of OGRA, accountability judge Mohammad Bashir said that the NAB had presented insufficient evidence of monetary benefit or material gain in the scheme.
The co-accused in the case were former federal secretaries Sikander Hayat Maken and Shoukat Hayat Durrani, ex-chairman of OGRA Tauqeer Sadiq and former managing director of a power distribution company Javaid Nazir.
The NAB had accused members of the selection committee, including Mr. Maken, Mr. Durrani, and Mr Nazir, of failing to check the credentials of Mr Sadiq for the OGRA chairman post.
Mr. Ashraf was included in the case as he served as the minister for water and power at the time; Mr Gilani stood accused of giving final approval to the appointment.
In his 14-page verdict on the case, Judge Mohammad Bashir said, “there is no allegation of receiving monetary benefit or material gain in process of appointment of chairman OGRA in question. Similarly, there is no iota of evidence alluding receiving of any monetary benefit or material gain in the said process”.