ISLAMABAD: An accountability court here on Thursday rejected a petition filed against the auction of properties of former finance minister Ishaq Dar.

Accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir, while rejecting the petition filed by Mr Dar’s wife, observed that she had failed to substantiate her claim that she owned a house of her husband which she got through a deed of gift.

The court also dismissed an application seeking the footage which the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials had recorded during a raid on Mr Dar’s house.

Ex-minister’s wife said she owns a house that Dar had gifted to her

The court, however, put off decision on a petition against attachment of the bank account of Hajveri Trust, a charity funded by Mr Dar, until next week.

Mr Dar’s spouse Tabassum Ishaq Dar filed the petition against the confiscation of the property of her husband after he was declared an absconder in a reference filed against him by NAB for allegedly accumulating assets beyond means.

On Oct 2 last year, the accountability court had attached Mr Dar’s properties with the Punjab government and allowed its auction as per rules.

Ms Tabassum, however, challenged the confiscation of the house in Gulberg, saying her husband had verbally gifted the property to her on Feb 14, 1989, in lieu of her dower amount. She said that since she had accepted the gift and was residing there, NAB had erroneously shown the property as an asset of Mr Dar.

She requested the court to cancel the order for the auction of the property.

On the other hand, NAB said that the house was registered in the name of Mr Dar in the revenue record and was not yet transferred to the name of his spouse.

Following the filing of the reference against Mr Dar in the accountability court in September 2017, NAB had seized all of his moveable and immoveable assets, including a house in Gulberg-III, Lahore; three plots in Al Falah Housing Society, Lahore; six acres of land in Islamabad; a two-kanal plot in Parliamentarians Enclave, Islamabad; a plot in the Senate Cooperative Housing Society, Islamabad; a plot measuring two kanals and another of nine marlas in Islamabad; and six vehicles.

The bureau said that Mr Dar had acquired in his name and/or in the names of his dependants assets worth Rs831.7 million that was disproportionate to his known sources of income.

The application seeking unfreezing of the account of Hajvery Trust stated that the charity was looking after 93 orphans and that freezing of its accounts would adversely affect the life of these children, including their education and other basic needs.

The application maintained that the bank account had been frozen since September 2017 and the access to it was denied.

It expressed the apprehension that this was not a sustainable arrangement and feared that the orphanage might be closed down due to want of funds.

This would be an irreparable loss to the orphans, as well as to Hajveri Trust, the application added.

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2019