An accountability court on Wednesday ordered partial restoration of the accounts of the Hajveri Trust, a charitable organisation founded by former finance minister Ishaq Dar, whose accounts were seized last year as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) initiated proceedings against him in a corruption reference.
In the reference against Dar, NAB had 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 Rs831.678 million (approx).”
The reference alleged that the assets were “disproportionate to his known sources of income for which he could not reasonably account for.”
Earlier this month, Dar requested the court to restore the accounts of the Hajveri Trust, insisting that the organisation was looking after at least 93 orphans whose expenses could not be met as the relevant bank accounts were frozen.
In today’s hearing, NAB prosecutor Imran Shafiq said that while it was true that the Hajveri Trust supported orphans, there was a record of “suspicious” transactions in the organisation’s accounts.
Dar’s lawyer Qazi Misbahul Hasan, however, insisted that it was “impossible” that the organisation misused its funds.
Hasan told the court that the organisation did not only support orphans, it was also involved in other welfare projects. He also argued that NAB had not filed any reference regarding the Hajveri Trust.
He said that his client had submitted audit reports of the trust’s accounts over the past three years and left it up to the court to take a decision.
NAB’s prosecutor suggested that the Trust provide an estimate of its expenses and only be allowed to draw a limited amount of money from the accounts.
Judge Mohammad Bashir, who heard the case today, observed that it was difficult to set a limit on withdrawals since expenses could vary.
Subsequently, the judge decided that the Trust could withdraw funds from its accounts for welfare purposes.