Court rejects Ishaq Dar’s exemption request; bailable warrants continue

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s plea seeking exemption from appearance was dismissed on Wednesday by the accountability court hearing the corruption case against him.
The minister, who is said to be in London for heart treatment, is accused by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of possessing assets disproportionate to his declared sources of income.
As the hearing began, Dar’s secondary counsel, Ayesha Hamid, requested the court to grant her client exemption from appearance on medical grounds and continue with the case by approving the appointment of a legal representative.
The NAB prosecutor opposed the request and sought issuance of non-bailable arrest warrants for the minister due to his third absence today from the proceedings.
Judge Mohammad Bashir, after returning from a recess, dismissed Dar’s exemption plea as well as NAB’s request for non-bailable warrants, and ordered for the continuation of the bailable warrants that were ordered on October 30, when Dar first skipped the proceedings.
He further ordered Dar’s bail guarantor to ensure the minister’s presence at the next hearing, warning that the surety bond of Rs5 million would be confiscated in case of a no-show.
The court also did not rule on the appointment of a legal representative.
The hearing was then adjourned until November 14.
During today’s proceedings, the judge observed that when the minister appears next, the court will have a separate medical exam conducted to ascertain the nature of Dar’s ailment.