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Sunday, April 14, 2024

NAB amendment: Court closes assets beyond means case against Ishaq Dar

The accountability court said it cannot hear the assets case against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar after the recent amendments in the National Accountability Bureau law.

In a major development, an accountability court has closed assets beyond known sources of income case against PML-N leader and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

The case was filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in December 2017 against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, accusing him of possessing assets disproportionate to his declared sources of income.

According to the details, AC Judge Muhammad Bashir while announcing the reserved verdict said they cannot hear the assets case against Ishaq Dar and other accused after the recent amendments in the National Accountability Bureau law.

The court also noted that since the case does not fall under its ambit, it does not have the authority to issue an on the acquittal plea that Ishaq Dar had filed.

Read more: Second NAB amendment bill passed

“After the [National Accountability (Second Amendment) Act 2022], this case does not fall under the jurisdiction of this court,” Judge Mohammad Bashir remarked while hearing today’s proceedings.

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

NAB law amendment

Earlier, the National Assembly passed the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Act, 2022 with a majority vote, amending the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 (NAO).

Under the new amendments, the offense of corruption and corrupt practices as per the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999, will be tied to the value of Rs500m. To clarify, NAB will have no jurisdiction to proceed in corruption cases involving less than Rs500 million. The bill also strips the president of his authority to appoint judges of accountability courts in consultation with high court chief justices. As a result, courts across the country have returned cases.

The NAB amendment came under much criticism, especially by PTI, since it weakens the institution and basically ends accountability. PTI even challenged the bill in the Supreme Court.

Read more: Black Day as amended NAB law ends accountability – Imran Khan