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IHC ordered NAB to stop proceedings against Ishaq Dar

21 December, 2017

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IHC ordered NAB to stop proceedings against Ishaq Dar
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday ordered the accountability court to stop proceedings against former finance minister Senator Ishaq Dar till January 17, 2018.

A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb ordered this while hearing a petition filed by Dar against the accountability court order declaring him a proclaimed offender and issue of non-bailable arrest warrants against him. The IHC also restrained the accountability court from confiscating the properties of Ahmad Ali Quddusi, a guarantor of Dar, who furnished Rs 5 milion surety bond.

Qazi Misbah, counsel for Dar, told the court that his client, who is undergoing treatment in a medical facility in London, was ill and unable to travel back to the country, thus wanted to be represented before the accountability court by his representative. He stated that the accountability court however was not allowing his client to be represented by his representative.

Justice Minallah inquired the counsel that when Mr Dar was appeared before the accountability court for the last time and when he will be able to appear before it now.

Qazi Misbah stated that his client last appeared before the court on October 23. He said he would be able to inform the court about the availability of his client after the results of a medical examination of his client scheduled to be conducted on Wednesday (today) are be released. Justice Minallah noted that an exemption from personal appearance could be granted under Article 540-A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). However, he observed that how a trial could continue in the absence of the only accused. “No court would exempt an accused from his personal appearance only on the basis of the medical certificates and reports submitted by Dar’s counsel before us as well as accountability court,” Justice Aurangzeb remarked. “You would have to explain your case very well to get an order in your favour,” Justice Minallah remarked.

Justice Aurangzeb asked NAB’s prosecutor that whether the anti-graft watchdog was in a hurry to declare Dar a proclaimed offender due to the Supreme Court order, adding that the accused was also a Pakistani citizen and how he was declared a proclaimed offender within 10 days instead of the stipulated timeframe of 30 days. To a query by Justice Minallah, NAB prosecutor stated that the medical reports of Dar had been sent to the foreign office for verification and the results were still awaited.

On December 18, Dar had challenged before the IHC the accountability court’s December 14 order of declaring him a proclaimed offender and seeking the details of his guarantor’s properties and assets from NAB for attachment. Earlier on Dec 19, the IHC granted a 24-hour stay on the accountability court’s order about the confiscation of properties of Dar’s guarantor.

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