Accountability court adjourns Dar’s graft case due to IHC stay order

  • IHC has issued stay order accountability court’s orders till Jan 17
Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – An accountability court in Islamabad on Tuesday adjourned hearing of a corruption case against former finance minister till January 18 a day after Islamabad High Court’s stay order will end.

As Judge Mohammad Bashir resumed hearing of the case filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) accusing Dar of possessing assets beyond known sources of income, the NAB’s prosecutor submitted copy of high court’s orders to halt trial proceedings against the former minister.

On Dec 20, the high court issued a stay order against the proceedings of an accountability court against Dar.

A divisional bench comprising Justice Athar Minullah and Justice Gul Hasan Aurengzeb announced the ruling while hearing a petition filed by Dar against the accountability court’s order regarding issuance of non-bailable warrants and declaring him a proclaimed offender. The high court has barred the trial court from proceedings against Dar till January 17, 2018.

On Nov 21, the accountability court had issued warrants for Dar, while he has been declared a proclaimed offender in a corruption case regarding possession of assets beyond means on December 14.

Judge Mohammad Bashir had announced the decision after the former finance minister did not attend the court hearings continuously as he is in London for medical treatment. He had skipped the last six hearings of the case.

However, the judge during a hearing observed that it did not seem that Dar was suffering from a serious disease or that he could not travel to Pakistan to attend the court hearings.

On Dec 19, the IHC also issued a stay order for 24 hours against orders of an accountability court regarding seizing property of former fiance minister Ishaq Dar’s guarantor, hmad Ali Qadoosi, after he failed to produce Dar before the court.

Indictment

On September 27, the former finance minister had been indicted for possessing assets beyond his known sources of income.

Dar had rejected the allegations levelled by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in its reference prepared following the orders of the Supreme Court in its July 28 verdict in Panamagate case.

NAB Reference

According to the NAB reference, the accused had acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his name or in the name of his dependents of an approximate amount of Rs831.678 million as per the investigation conducted so far.

The assets are disproportionate to his known sources of income for which he could not reasonably account for, the reference said.