- Court says action against assets abroad to be deliberated on the basis of law
ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Tuesday ordered the provincial government to either seize or auction all the assets, including bank accounts and property, of former finance minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ishaq Dar.
Accountability court Judge Muhammad Bashir gave the verdict on a petition filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB), seeking auction of Dar’s assets and asking the court to appoint a beneficiary of recovered amount.
The court said that the provincial government will be responsible for auction and empowered the provincial government to decide whether to sell or keep the seized assets.
The NAB had earlier moved the accountability court for the auction of movable and immovable properties owned by Dar as he has been in London since Oct 2017. He was declared an absconder by the court in Dec 2017 after he failed to join the trial against himself.
Following the filing of the reference against Dar in the accountability court last September, NAB had seized all of his movable and immovable assets. The court also ordered a compliance report regarding the seizure of three plots in Al-Falah Society and vehicles belonging to Dar.
The court remarked that action against Dar’s assets abroad would also be deliberated on the basis of the law.
It is important to note here that 17 of the 25 properties and assets owned by Dar that the NAB wants to take control of have either been donated or reportedly sold off.
On Monday, the accountability court reserved its decision on the petition. A decision on the matter was reserved after the court heard arguments from the bureau.
Last week, NAB had also submitted details of the former finance minister’s assets that have been seized.
NAB’s special prosecutor Imran Shafiq informed the court that the assets could be sold if the reservations against it are not raised within the prescribed time period.
“The accused can approach the court till six months after the assets are sold,” he said.
Shafiq explained that Dar has not yet raised any reservations over the matter.
In its reference against the former finance minister, NAB had alleged that “the accused has acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his own name and/or in the name of his dependents of an approximate amount of Rs831.678 million (approx)”.
The reference alleged that the assets were “disproportionate to his known sources of income for which he could not reasonably account for”.
According to the NAB petition, Dar has a house in Gulberg, three plots in Alfalah Housing Society, his wife owns a plot in Mauza Bhubtiam, while both of them own six acres of land in Mauza Milot near Islamabad.
Further, the former minister owns two kanal in Islamabad’s Parliamentarian Enclave, two plot with Ayaz Builders (Pvt) Ltd and plots at Islamabad, Cooperative Housing Society. Dar and his wife have one corolla, two Mercedez Benz and three Land Cruisers.
Meanwhile, Dar and his wife have invested Rs3,453,060 in Hajveri Holding private limited and the former minister has also invested Rs2,700 in Sui Northern Gas Pipeline.
It is pertinent to note that defence counsel Ayesha Hamid had termed NAB’s details inaccurate during the course of hearings. She said the anti-graft watchdog had mentioned same plot twice – Parliamentarian Enclave in Islamabad. She also claimed that the land in Mauza Milot did not belong to Dar while the money invested in Senate Cooperative Housing Society had been retrieved.