ISLAMABAD – The Accountability court on Monday adjourned the hearing of a reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for possessing assets that exceed his known sources of income till September 27.
Ishaq Dar appeared before the court to attended the hearing where Judge Muhammad Bashir, who had issued bailable arrest warrants for the finance minister after he did not appearing before the court on September 20 despite the summons, resumed the case.
During the question, the judge questioned why surety bonds for securing the bail had not been submitted so far. Following this, the counsel for Dar filed bonds worth Rs1 million and requested the court to adjourn the hearing for one week.
The court turned down the request and announced September 27 as the date for next hearing when the minister will be indicted.
The court also ordered to provide a copy of reference, which consists of 23 volumes, to the minister.
The judge also said that the hearing of the reference will be conducted on a daily basis.
At the time of the last hearing, Dar was in London due to which he could not attend the hearing and the court had issued the arrest warrant.
He returned to Pakistan on Sunday night (yesterday) along with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
Raid at Dar’s House
After the issuance of arrest warrants, the NAB team raided the minister’s house in Islamabad and questioned employees while telling them that they had an arrest warrant for the Federal Minister.
The officials had the employees sign a receiving of the arrest orders and compliance summons, and then searched the house to make sure Dar was not present there.
Call for Resignation
On Thursday, the Senate Standing Committee on Finance demanded the resignation of the Finance Minister. “The committee recommended that Ishaq Dar step down to save the country’s name from being defamed further,” announced chairman of the Standing Committee on Finance Saleem Mandviwala.
Ishaq Dar is facing Section-14C of the NAB Ordinance 1999, which deals with possession of assets beyond his known sources of income. If Dar is proven guilty, he would be handed over 14-year imprisonment.
According to the NAB reference, a 91 percent increase was observed in his assets in a short period of time. Dar and his family possess assets worth Rs 839 billion, the reference said.
The accused was summoned to the joint investigation but he did not appear citing a review petition against the Panamagate verdict in the Supreme Court, the reference stated.
Earlier, the NAB had submitted a reference against the minister to the court in Islamabad, but the registrar sent the reference back to the anti-graft watchdog terming it incomplete and ordered to attach additional documents.
On September 14, the NAB resubmitted the reference with additional details and documents, after which the court summoned Dar.
The Supreme Court while announcing the landmark decision of Panamagate case, which caused the ouster of Nawaz Sharif on July 28, had ordered the NAB to file references against the Sharif family and Ishaq Dar within six weeks. It also directed the NAB to decide the references within six months.