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NAB reserved its verdict on declaring Ishaq Dar as proclaimed offender

05 December, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The accountability court on Monday reserved its verdict on declaring former finance minister Ishaq Dar a proclaimed offender.

Court judge Muhammad Bashir reserved the verdict after hearing arguments of Qausain Faisal Mufti, counsel for Ishaq Dar, who submitted a medical report of his client and requested the court to delay the process of declaring his client as proclaimed offender at least till next week.

It was being expected that the court would declare Dar as proclaimed offender on Monday as the last deadline given to him by the court to appear before it has lapsed. It was his absence from the trial for fifth consecutive time.

Qausain Faisal Mufti stated that his client was undergoing medical treatment in a medical facility in London. He said he will submit the medical report of his client containing the diagnosis of ailment, next week, thus the process of declaring him as proclaimed offender may be stopped.

He requested the court to exempt his client from personal appearance on medical grounds and also suspend his non-bailable arrest warrants. He argued that Article 9 of the Constitution guarantees every citizen to avail every facility of treatment and live a healthy life.

Dar’s counsel also argued that in usual practice, any absconder is declared a proclaimed offender after 30 days of being declared as absconder, whereas his client was declared a proclaimed offender after 10 days of being declared as absconder, which was unseal.

The court noted then that Dar was declared proclaimed offender after a period of more than two weeks of being declared as absconder.

The counsel contended that his client had never received the court’s summons at his London’s address, however, the court record showed that Dar had received the court’s summons in London.

He argued that even NAB did not verify the medical report of his client. The court then noted that if the accused would have been taking treatment in Pakistan, the court could order constitution of a medical board.

The counsel stated that the medical board could still be constituted, which could conduct the medical examination of his client at Pakistan’s High Commission in London. To a court query, he said the medical examination of his client would be conducted next week.

NAB’s prosecutors, however, opposed the plea for adjournment of the proceedings, contending that delaying tactics were being used by the defence to prolong the trial.

They contended that when the ailment of the accused had not yet been diagnosed, why he was averting the trial. After hearing both the sides, the court adjourned the hearing till December 11.

On last hearing, the court had warned Ahmad Ali Quddusi – the guarantor of Dar – that the surety bonds of Rs 5 million furnished by him will be confiscated if Dar would not appear. Dar is accused of possessing assets beyond his known sources of income.

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