Dar may skip court in assets reference on 14thPakistan
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar is likely to skip the trial proceedings on November 14 in the assets reference when the accountability court is scheduled to resume the hearing.
Sources privy to the development told Dawn that Mr Dar intended to file an application before the accountability court seeking an exemption from personal attendance and the appointment of a pleader who would represent him during the trial proceedings.
It may be mentioned that the accountability judge, Mohammad Bashir, on November 8 had ordered Mr Dar’s guarantors to appear in the court in person and also ensure that he also appears before the court on November 14.
The sources said the finance minister through his counsel Khawaja Haris would move an application with the court to appoint Qausain Faisal Mufti Advocate as his pleader.
Finance minister is likely to seek exemption from personal appearance and appoint pleader in his place
The sources claimed that the accountability court had the power to allow such an application.
Even otherwise the General Clauses Act and the principle of natural justice also empower the court to exempt an accused from personal appearances in exceptional cases.
According to the sources, due to his deteriorated health Mr Dar cannot personally attend the proceedings as he is undergoing medical treatment.
Accountability judge Bashir on November 8 while issuing a warning to Mr Dar’s surety-givers said the court would confiscate the surety bonds worth Rs5 million if they failed to appear before the court.
In the reference against Mr Dar, NAB alleged that “the accused has acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his own name and/or in the name of his dependents of an amount of Rs831.678 million (approx).”
The reference alleged that the assets of Mr Dar were “disproportionate to his known sources of income for which he could not reasonably account for.”
NAB, however, termed the reference “interim” since it was based on the “material collected by JIT, FIA and NAB till date” and said it reserved the right to file a supplementary reference.
According to the reference, any role of the incumbent chief executive officer of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) is yet to be established “in aiding and abetting the accused (Ishaq Dar) in the acquisition of the stated properties.”
During the hearing on November 8, the NAB prosecution had requested the court to issue non-bailable warrants for Mr Dar. However, the court reissued bailable warrants with a direction to NAB to verify the medical reports of the finance minister.
Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2017