IHC dismisses Ishaq Dar’s petitions against ‘swift’ indictment


ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday dismissed two separate petitions of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar against his indictment by an accountability court in a graft reference filed against him by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for having assets beyond his means.

A division bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb dismissed the petitions for being non-maintainable.

The minister through his counsel Khawaja Haris contended that his client was not allowed the minimum seven days to pe ruse the reference and voluminous reports before his indictment in the case under section of  265-C of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Thus, he pleaded the court to set aside his indictment.

On Sept 27, Judge Muhammad Bashir of the accountability court had read out charges against the minister, which he denied and opted to contest them.

The court would take up the case on Oct 4 when it would record depositions of prosecution witnesses.

The court had rejected a request by Dar’s counsel, Amjad Parvez, to adjourn the indictment for a week so that he could peruse the voluminous report.

It observed that it would conduct day-to-day hearings in the reference, so that the trial is concluded within six-month deadline set by the Supreme Court.

The finance minister appeared before the court after it issued bailable warrants for his arrest and submitted a surety bond worth Rs one million to seek bail in the case.

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, the reference said.