PML-N leader Ishaq Dar acquitted in asset beyond means case

NAB had "reopened" assets beyond means case against Senator Ishaq Dar following Supreme Court's decision on NAB laws

Arfa Feroz Zake

PML-N leader Ishaq Dar. — AFP/File
PML-N leader Ishaq Dar. — AFP/File

  • NAB had "reopened" case after SC decision on NAB laws. 
  • Case was filed by anti-graft watchdog in December 2017.
  • NAB gave clean chit to PML-N leader in corruption case.

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Monday acquitted Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Ishaq Dar in an asset beyond means case.

The former finance minister was acquitted after the court admitted his acquittal plea following a “clean chit” given by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Following the Supreme Court of Pakistan's decision declaring amendments to the NAB laws null and void, the anti-graft watchdog had once again "reopened" the assets beyond means case against Dar.

NAB had submitted the record of the assets beyond means case against the PML-N stalwart in the Islamabad accountability court.

However, in November of last year, the same accountability court had ended the criminal proceedings against Dar in the case.

While ending the case, the court had remarked that it no longer has the authority to hear the case or release a verdict on pleas seeking acquittal after the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Act 2022.

"We can neither announce a decision in favour of NAB nor can we issue a decision in favour of the suspect. The trial against Ishaq Dar ends here," Judge Bashir added.

Courts across the country had returned cases after the government amended the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 as several cases do not fall under their jurisdiction anymore.

The case was filed by NAB in December 2017 against Dar, accusing him of possessing assets disproportionate to his declared sources of income.

A reference against the PML-N leader was filed by NAB in light of the Supreme Court's July 28, 2017, verdict in the Panama Papers case.

Dar had also been declared a proclaimed offender by the accountability court due to his continuous absence from the proceedings — but in October 2022, the court suspended his arrest warrants after he appeared before it.

The PML-N leader resided in London for five years in self-exile and after the formation of the coalition government, but last year he came back to the country to take charge as the finance czar.