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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC), Tuesday, reserved its verdict in a petition of Ishaq Dar’s wife (Tabassum Dar) against the auction of her house.

A division bench of IHC comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz conducted hearing of the petition against auctioning of the house of former finance minister Ishaq Dar and reserved the judgment after hearing the arguments of both the parties.

During the hearing, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor opposed the plea and requested the court to dismiss the petition.

The petitioner’s lawyer, Qazi Misbah advocate, informed the court that the house at Lahore Gulberg was gifted by Ishaq Dar to his wife in 1989 as “Haq Mehar”. He further argued that the NAB had seized the house and handed over its custody to the Punjab government for auctioning and prayed before the court that the house was the property of Dar’s wife that cannot be auctioned by declaring it Ishaq Dar’s assets.

The NAB prosecutor contended that the house cannot be handed over to Dar’s wife and opposed her claim that it was a gift to her. He pleaded that Tabassum Dar has no evidence of gift deed or any other material which could prove that the house was a gift. It was purchased by Dar in 1988 and the land department’s record showed that Dar was still owner of the property.

Previously, the court had suspended the accountability court’s November 7, 2019 verdict and restrained the auction of the house till the decision of petition.

Earlier, an Accountability Court (AC) had ordered to freeze the accounts of Hajveri Trust and auction of Dar’s property after declaring him proclaimed offender due to his continuous non-appearance.

It was December 11, 2017, when the AC had declared Dar a proclaimed offender and ordered for attachment of his properties.

As the former minister has not appeared before the court since 2017 despite repeated notices, the accountability court declared him a proclaimed offender and attached his bank accounts and other properties.

Therefore, the NAB seized all of Dar’s moveable and immoveable assets, including a house in Gulberg III, Lahore; three plots in Al-Falah Housing Society, Lahore; six acres of land in Islamabad, a two-kanal plot in the Parliamentarians’ Enclave, Islamabad; a plot in the Senate Cooperative Housing Society, Islamabad; another plot measuring two kanals and nine marlas in Islamabad, and six vehicles.

However, the AC later issued a verdict regarding unfreezing of accounts of Hajveri Foundation, directing the persons concerned to spend the money on welfare projects mentioned in the trust deed of the Foundation and not for any other purpose.

According to the order, AC Judge Muhammad Bashir further directed the persons concerned that the money from the banks accounts of Hajveri Foundation should be spent only on welfare projects and not for any other purpose; otherwise, operating the account for other purposes will be considered an offence within the meaning of Section 23 of NAO, 1999.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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