ISLAMABAD: The accountability court on Monday declared former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar a proclaimed offender in a corruption reference filed against him by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in compliance with Supreme Court’s landmark July 28 verdict.
At the outset of court proceedings, Ishaq Dar’s lawyer submitted a plea to seek delay in declaration of his client as a proclaimed offender along with a fresh medical report.
The counsel argued that his client was suffering from coronary artery disease and undergoing a treatment abroad, hence he could not attend the court proceedings.
NAB prosecutor Imran Shafique opposed the plea and asked the court to declare Dar a proclaimed offender for his perpetual absence.
Judge Muhammad Bashir reserved a judgment on the plea submitted by Dar’s lawyer.
Later, he announced the verdict declaring Dar a proclaimed offender for his perpetual absence during the court proceedings.
The court also directed Dar’s bail guarantor Ahmad Ali Qudoosi to submit surety bail worth Rs5 million within three days.
Earlier, the court had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for him on November 14 and subsequently declared him an absconder on November 21.
At the last hearing, the court had reserved its decision on formally declaring Dar a proclaimed offender.
During the court proceedings, Dar’s lawyer Hussain Faisal Mufti submitted his client’s medical report, which the court rejected and directed him to submit a verified report.
Mufti also objected to shortening the notice period from 30 days to 10 by court to initiate proclaimed offender proceedings.
Dar’s counsel argued that a suspect was usually declared a proclaimed offender after a 30-day period of time. To which, Judge Muhammad Bashir remarked that his client has 15 days.
Ishaq Dar, who is currently in London, has repeatedly skipped the court hearings despite issuance of non-bailable warrants for his arrest.
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.