ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday disposed of a plea filed by PML-N Senator-elect Muhammad Ishaq Dar, seeking reversal of a trial court order issued on Dec 11, 2017, declaring him a proclaimed offender.

An accountability court had declared Mr Dar absconder in a corruption reference after he failed to join the trial against him.

Headed by Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan, a two-judge bench allowed the request made by Mr Dar through his counsel Salman Aslam Butt that since his client intended to avail other remedies, he wanted to withdraw his application.

Soon after withdrawal of the application from the apex court, Mr Dar’s another counsel Qazi Misbah approached Accountability Court Judge Mohammad Bashir with a request to take back the arrest warrant it had issued against him.

The application pleaded that Mr Dar should not be arrested when he returns home since he wanted to surrender to the court to join the trial.

The accountability court issued notice to the National Accountability Bureau to file its version on Sept 23.

Mr Butt told Dawn that the application was filed under Section 75(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which states that a warrant will remain in force until cancelled by the court which issued it, or until it is executed.

He argued that the moment his client surrenders himself to the court, it should take back the order for Mr Dar’s arrest because he was unable to return home earlier since his doctors had advised him not to travel and also because he did not have his passport with him.

On Aug 22, Ishaq Dar had stated before the apex court that he could not return to Pakistan even if his health improved since the previous PTI-led government had cancelled his passport.

The petitioner stated that the accountability court, which declared him a proclaimed offender, had also rejected his plea to be represented through his counsel. Since he was unable to attend the court proceedings in person, his assets were being put to sale or had been taken over.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2022

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