Court dismisses reference against Ishaq Dar

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court in Islamabad has ended the trial against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in an asset beyond means case and sent back a reference against him to the National Accountability Bureau saying that after the amended NAB Act, this court is not authorized to hear this case.

ATC Judge Muhammad Bashir on Tuesday announced the reserved verdict. He said that after the amended NAB Act, the case did not come under the jurisdiction of the accountability court.

In its verdict, the court said that it could not give its judgement on the petitions seeking acquittal in NAB references after the new NAB ACT

“The case does not come under our jurisdiction anymore. We are not NAB, nor can we give a decision in favour of the accused. The court ends trial against Ishaq Dar forthwith,” the judge ruled.

Finance Minister Dar, former president of National Bank Saeed Ahmad, Naeem Mehmood and Mansoor Raza submitted applications seeking their acquittal in the NAB cases. 

The NAB has filed a case of assets beyond means against Ishaq Dar and others.

The bureau recorded statements from 42 witnesses in its reference.

Nadir Abbas was the investigation officer in the reference against Dar.

On Monday, Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir reserved the verdict after hearing arguments from both sides.

During Monday’s hearing, Dar’s lawyer Qazi Misbah completed his arguments in support of his client’s acquittal plea in the NAB reference. However, the lawyer of another accused, ex-president of the National Bank of Pakistan Saeed Ahmad, could not reach the court.

It is pertinent to mention here that the reference was filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Ishaq Dar following the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case.

Ishaq Dar left the country in November 2017 on the pretext of seeking medical treatment in London.

Ishaq Dar had earlier been declared a proclaimed offender by the accountability court due to his continuous absence from the proceedings.