Pro­ceed­ings to seize Dar's surety bond ad­journed till Dec 4

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE - Staff Re­porter ISLAMABAD

The ac­count­abil­ity court hear­ing the cor­rup­tion case against Ishaq Dar ruled on Wed­nes­day that the pro­ceed­ings re­lated to the seizure of the for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter's surety bond would take place on De­cem­ber 4.

The de­ci­sion came after Dar's bail guar­an­tor asked the court for more time to pro­duce the for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter in court. As Ac­count­abil­ity Court Judge Mo­ham­mad Bashir be­gan pro­ceed­ings to­day, Dar's bail guar­an­tor Ah­mad Ali Qu­doosi was a no-show. Court of­fi­cials shouted his name out­side the court­room but he still did not ap­pear. The court then went into a re­cess to give time for Qu­doosi to ap­pear. He ap­peared after much de­lay for the hear­ing of the cor­rup­tion case against the for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter.

Ad­dress­ing the judge, Qu­doosi said Dar is not in the coun­try and asked for more time to pro­duce him in court. Na­tional Ac­count­abil­ity Bureau (NAB) Prose­cu­tor Imran Shafique op­posed the plea and said enough time has been given to the ac­cused al­ready. Qu­doosi said he's go­ing to the UK him­self to in­quire into Dar's health, say­ing the for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter's an­giog­ra­phy has been com­pleted and the re­sults are awaited. He pre­dicted a time pe­riod of three to four weeks be­fore the for­mer min­is­ter can re­turn.

How­ever, the judge ruled that fur­ther pro­ceed­ings on the seizure of the bond will take place on De­cem­ber 4, when the court will hear the main case again. The judge also gave Qu­doosi one last chance to en­sure Dar's pres­ence in court. On Novem­ber 24, Qu­doosi had re­quested the court not to seize the Rs5 mil­lion surety bond that he had sub­mit­ted on be­half of Dar. How­ever, the court had di­rected him to ap­pear in per­son to­day and present ar­gu­ments in his de­fence. The court had also is­sued no­tices to NAB.

More­over, the court has posted on its no­tice board the or­der di­rect­ing the for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter to ap­pear within 10 days. The no­tice, dated Novem­ber 21, states that Dar should ap­pear in per­son within the given time; fol­low­ing which he will be de­clared a pro­claimed of­fender.

NAB has filed a ref­er­ence against Dar al­leg­ing that he owns as­sets which are dis­pro­por­tion­ate to his de­clared sources of in­come. The ref­er­ence was filed on the or­ders of the Supreme Court

Panama Pa­pers case.

At the last hear­ing on Novem­ber 21, the court be­gan the process to de­clare Dar a pro­claimed of­fender as the then fi­nance min­is­ter was a no-show for the fifth con­sec­u­tive time owing to his med­i­cal treat­ment in Lon­don.

At the hear­ing, Dar's coun­sel, Qu­sain Faisal Mufti, sub­mit­ted his client's third med­i­cal re­port and pleaded the judge to grant his client ex­emp­tion from ap­pear­ance. The coun­sel also re­quested the court ap­point a le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive (pleader) on Dar's be­half so the pro­ceed­ings can con­tinue. How­ever, NAB prose­cu­tor Imran Shafique op­posed the plea and re­quested the court to be­gin the pro­ce­dure of declar­ing Dar a pro­claimed of­fender due to his con­tin­u­ous ab­sence. The judge dis­missed the pleas of Dar's coun­sel and is­sued a no­tice to Qu­doosi, ask­ing him to sub­mit a writ­ten re­sponse on Novem­ber 24 on why Dar's surety bond of Rs5 mil­lion should not be con­fis­cated. The hear­ing was then ad­journed un­til De­cem­ber 4.

In the hear­ing against the Sharif fam­ily by the same court, the judge had de­clared for­mer prime min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif's sons Hus­sain and Hasan pro­claimed of­fend­ers after they failed to ap­pear in court de­spite re­peated no­tices.

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