IHC stays Dar’s accountability trial

Asks NAB about verification of medical reports

Rizwan Shehzad December 20, 2017

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday restrained an accountability court from proceeding further against former finance minister Ishaq Dar till January 17 on a reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

A division bench, comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, granted a stay order against proceedings by the trial court till January 17. It also extended till the next date of hearing a stay order on the process of attaching the moveable property of Ahmed Ali Quddusi who has submitted surety for Dar’s appearance in the trial.

While hearing his petition on Tuesday, the bench had restrained the NAB from attaching Quddusi’s property till Wednesday. Dar’s case is fixed before the accountability court on Thursday (today).

Ishaq Dar declared proclaimed offender in NAB reference


While issuing the order, the bench asked the NAB prosecutor and Dar’s counsel to present arguments on the next date of hearing about whether the proceedings could continue in the absence of the sole accused in a case.

It asked the prosecutor how a trial court could reduce the required 30-day period to 10 days while declaring a suspect proclaimed offender. “All are equal before the law but the benefit of the doubt is given to the suspect,” remarked Justice Aurangzeb.

Justice Minallah enquired if medical reports of the suspect had been verified. The prosecutor replied that the reports had been forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the reply was awaited. The bench remarked that the NAB could have constituted a medical board while examining the reports submitted by Dar before the trial court.

Accountability court declares Ishaq Dar an absconder

Justice Minallah remarked that the court could either suspend the order declaring Dar a proclaimed offender before the completion of the 30-day period or halt the trial court proceedings till the next date. The prosecutor preferred the second option.

Dar’s counsel said an impression was being given that Dar was evading the proceedings, although his client had requested the court to allow him to appoint a representative while he was in London for treatment but it was dismissed.

The bench asked the lawyer to cite the laws that allowed trial in a single suspect’s absence. The counsel said in reply to a question that Dar had appeared on October 23 and the date for his next appearance could only be given after a medical check-up on Wednesday.

Petitions filed: Dar asks IHC to set aside indictment order

Dar has challenged several orders of the accountability court through which bailable and non-bailable warrants for his arrest were issued and he was later declared a proclaimed offender.

The counsel said a petition regarding the non-bailable warrant was pending but the accountability court declared him proclaimed offender due to his absence from the proceedings.

In the prayer, the counsel has requested the court to set aside the orders of November 11 and December 11 and all preceding ones through which the court issued the warrants and later declared Dar a proclaimed offender within 10 days. The IHC will resume the hearing on January 17.



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