ISLAMABAD: After a Lahore bench of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) issued a letter to return the minister’s assets, an accountability court on Saturday ordered the restoration of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s accounts and properties.
Judge Muhammad Bashir of the Accountability Court made the ruling, with Prosecutor Afzal Qureshi representing the state and Advocate Qazi Misbah ul Hassan representing Ishaq Dar.
The 2017 order to seize the finance minister’s property, including his home in Lahore, and to freeze his bank accounts was rescinded, according to the accountability court’s written ruling. In the case of Rana Muhammad Ramzan v. The State, the petitioner “came late before the Court, stood trial, and was cleared of the accusation,” according to Dar’s attorney.
The petitioner “could not be deemed to have absconded or hidden,” it was said. Dar’s attorney said that since the immovable property was ordered to have been used by the petitioner under these circumstances, the confiscation of it was not warranted.
The prosecution said that because the defendant entered the case to stand trial, the criminal case against him was concluded, and the court may now issue the proper order by the law.
Records showed, by the ruling, that the minister attended court and participated in the trial. His petition was therefore approved and his property was returned to him in line with the law.
Additionally, “after the revisions made in the NAO, 1999 retroactively by the National Accountability Amendment Acts, 2022, the criminal proceedings in the main case against him were closed owing to lack of jurisdiction.”
After the NAB legislation was changed in September of last year, accountability courts throughout the nation started returning corruption references to the NAB chairman because the accused could no longer be prosecuted since the courts lacked financial jurisdiction in the cases.