NBP chief, two others escape indictment after lawyer misbehaves in court

  • IHCBA president served with show-cause notice after he misbehaves with accountability judge

ISLAMABAD: The indictment of the accused in supplementary references filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against ex-finance minister Ishaq Dar and others was delayed again on Tuesday after rumpus by the president of the Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA).

On February 26, the anti-graft watchdog filed a supplementary reference against Ishaq Dar in the assets case with regard to alleged accumulation of assets beyond his known sources of income.

Three suspects, including National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) President Saeed Ahmed, Mansoor Raza and Naeem Mehmood, were nominated in the reference. All three are accused of aiding Dar in opening fictitious bank accounts and transferring money abroad.

As Judge Muhammad Bashir resumed hearing of the case, the suspects along with their counsels appeared before him.

NAB prosecutor Imran Shafique requested the court to issue arrest warrants for one of the accused, Syed Mansoor Raza Rizvi. Shafique stated that it had been a month since Rizvi sought legible and readable copies of the reference and attached material before their indictment and noted that the accused were lingering on trial for one reason or the other.

However, Islamabad High Court Bar Association President Javed Akbar Shah, who represented co-accused Mansoor Raza, misbehaved with the judge, impolitely asking for the adjournment of the case.

The judge dismissed the plea for the adjournment.

An agitated Shah then reportedly took offence at the judge referring to him as brother, “I am not your brother, give me a reason why the indictment is necessary?”

When Judge Bashir warned that the lawyer was being disrespectful to the bench, Shah responded with: “What are you going to? Will you shoot me or send me to jail?”

Shah them left the court along with his client without court permission after submitting his power of attorney.

Afterwards, the judge directed a court official to call out Raza and issued non-bailable warrants for his arrest upon his failure to appear.

The accountability judge also served a show-cause notice to the IHCBA president for misbehaving with him.

The hearing of the case was adjourned till April 5.

During the previous proceeding, the court had directed NAB prosecutor to present a copy of Islamabad High Court’s verdict which has halted the indictment process.