An accountability court in Islamabad on Monday accepted Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar’s plea for permanent exemption from in-person appearance in court for an assets beyond means case proceedings.
The finance minister attended today’s hearing in the court of Judge Mohammad Basheer, where he submitted via his counsel three pleas: for exemption, detachment of assets and acquittal, respectively.
The court, however, accepted only the plea for exemption and asked the lawyer to present his arguments in the remaining pleas at the next hearing.
The judge then adjourned the hearing till November 16.
In December 2017, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed a case against the minister for finance and revenue, 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, 2018, 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, the court suspended his arrest warrants after he appeared before it.
The self-exiled PML-N leader was residing in London for five years and after the formation of the coalition government, he came back to the country to take charge as the finance czar.
Not only that, but he also took oath as the senator recently despite being elected on a technocrat seat in the Senate election on March 3, 2018.
Since his arrival, Dar has been persistent about fixing Pakistan’s economy, bringing down the dollar’s value against the rupee, and blaming the PTI-led government for the country’s worsening situation.