NAB court barred from proceedings against Dar

  • Islamabad High Court has issued stay order till Jan 17
Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday issued a stay order against the proceedings of an accountability court against former finance minister Ishaq Dar in a case regarding possessing assets beyond means.

A divisional bench 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 proclaimed offender. The high court has barred the trial court from proceedings against Dar till January 17, 2018.

During the hearing, the two-member bench said that it has two options either to set aside the NAB court’s decision to declare Dar a proclaimed offender or halt the proceedings at trial court until next hearing.

The special prosecutor decided to go wit the second option.

Justice Minullah also asked the NAB lawyer whether he had medical reports of Dar, who is in London for treatment.

The lawyer informed the court that the reports were not available yet as  these have been sent for verification.

Justice Minullah also asked the NAB lawyer that a medical board should be set up to look into the medical report.

On Nov 21, the accountability court had issued the 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 Tuesday, 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.