ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court (SC) on Monday has summoned former finance minster Ishaq Dar in a case pertaining to approving nomination papers for Senate elections.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar heard the case during which the CJP remarked that Dar has not challenged National Accountability Bureau (NAB) decision of declaring him absconder. 

He has directed the former minister to appear in court in next week and appointed Babar Sattar as judicial assistant.

Earlier, Lahore High Court (LHC) had rejected a plea demanding to cancel candidacy of former finance minister Ishaq Dar for Senate elections and allowed him to contest the polls.

A two-member full bench conducted hearing on Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Nawabzada Nawazish Ali‘s plea during which, the petitioner said that Dar is a proclaimed accused in Panama Leaks case due to which he cannot participate in the elections.

However, the court disposed of the plea.

It is to be mentioned here that ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had nominated Ishaq Dar as its Senate candidate for another three-year term as nine of the PML-N Senators are due to retire next month after completing their terms.

The papers were rejected by Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) which was in LHC’s appellate tribunal. He had adopted stance that the returning officer rejected the nomination papers contrary to the facts.

The court after hearing the arguments of both the parties permitted Dar to take part in Senate elections.

In December 2017, the anti-corruption court had declared Dar, currently seeking medical treatment in London, an “absconder” after he repeatedly failed to appear before it in a graft case linking to the Panama Papers scandal.

He was indicted in October last year in a graft case in which he is accused of making assets that were “disproportionate to his known sources of income”.

The case was filed against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the light of the Supreme Court order of July 28 that disqualified Nawaz Sharif as prime minister in the Panama Papers scandal.

In its case against Dar, the NAB has alleged that the accused has acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his own name and/or in the name of his dependants of an approximate amount of Rs 831.678 million.

Dar is in London since October and has been seeking treatment of an undefined heart complication at a Harley Street hospital.