Ishaq Dar no longer a proclaimed offender

Published September 29, 2022
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar talks to media outside an accountability court in Islamabad on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar talks to media outside an accountability court in Islamabad on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV

ISLAMABAD: Nearly five years after declaring Ishaq Dar a proclaimed offender, an accountability court reversed its order on Wed­nes­day when the newly inducted finance minister appeared before the court and gave an undertaking to face trial in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) reference pertaining to assets beyond means.

Mr Dar along with his lead counsel Misbahul Hassan Qazi appeared before Judge Mohammad Bashir of the accountability court, which had recently suspended his arrest warrant on his application and restrained law enforcement agencies from arr­e­sting him on his return from the UK.

His counsel requested the court to allow Mr Dar to furnish bonds under Section 91 of the criminal procedure code instead of applying for bail.

Section 91 ‘Power to take bond for appearance’ sates, “When any person for whose appearance or arrest the officer presiding in any court is empowered to issue a summons or warrant, is present in such court, such officer may require such person to execute a bond, with or without sureties, for his appearance in such court.”

Court seeks NAB’s reply to minister’s application by Oct 7

Judge Bashir then issued a notice to the NAB on the application and sought its reply till October 7.

Later, Advocate Qazi told Dawn that Mr Dar was no more a proclaimed offender after surrendering before the accountability court.

The accountability court on Dec 11, 2017 declared the PML-N leader a proclaimed offender under Section 87 of the CrPC that states: “If any court is satisfied after taking evidence that any person against whom a warrant has been issued by it has absconded or is concealing himself so that such warrant cannot be executed, such court may publish a written proclamation requiring him to appear at a specified place and at a specified time not less than thirty days from the date of publishing such proclamation.”

According to the lead counsel, court issues proclamation of an accused person to procure his attendance. “The moment an accused surrenders before the court, it fulfills the objective of proclamation and his status of proclaimed offender vanishes automatically,” he said.

Advocate Qazi, however, said the court issued the notice to NAB on the application seeking permission to furnish bonds instead of applying for pre-arrest bail. He said the accountability judge could recall the arrest warrant issued by him against an absconding accused upon his surrender.

The same court had withdrawn the arrest warrants issued against PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz and her spouse Mohammad Safdar in October 2017, asking them to submit bonds instead of seeking release on bail.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2022

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