ISLAMABAD – The fake documents saga seems to be an unending element of legal battles in the country as the Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nasir hinted at the possibility of fake documents submitted by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Jahangir Tareen in the disqualification case.
During the hearing of the case on Wednesday, the Chief Justice remarked that some of the details in the documents were clashing with one another.
‘The lease agreement does not show entire facts. You are using the land for farming. Do you want it to be investigated through the appropriate forum?’ the CJ grilled Tareen’s counsel.
In response to this, Sikandar Bashir Mohmand argued that the documents should not be termed fake adding that the disqualification of Tareen under Article 62 1(f) of the Constitution would be an everlasting mark.
The chief justice continued that Tareen acquired the agricultural land under lease but he earned income from it but did not reveal aggregated agricultural income to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Mohmand replied that the ECP had asked for information regarding proprietary land only.
‘Tareen has hidden nothing in the documents submitted to the court.’ he claimed.
The CJP wondered that what should a person do if he does not own agricultural land but earns more than Rs10 billion on that land through lease?
‘Should the person not share that information with ECP?. Our stance is that leased land’s owner should pay the tax.’ he remarked.
The explanation failed to satisfy the CJP who observed that even though Tareen had the lease of the land but the income was not declared.
‘The law states that a person who earns money on agricultural land must pay taxes. Tareen should have paid five percent tax on the income earned from the land,’ the CJP added.
Mian Saqib Nisar went ahead and stated that the question in front of the court was of integrity which can be gauged through actions.
He categorically declared that Jahangir Tareen did not declare his entire means of income to the court.
Tareen’s lawyer responded that the court should let an appropriate forum give a verdict on the tax issues first.
Another member of the bench, Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal asked: What happens if the agricultural tax is also implemented on leased land?”
To this Tareen’s legal counsel replied that even in this case, Tareen cannot be disqualified as he did not tell a lie anywhere.
The petitioner Hanif Abbasi’s lawyer, Akram Sheikh said that Tareen’s bad intentions can be seen from the fact that he did not reveal documents of yield per acre or finance department. He has laundered money through the lease agreement, the lawyer added.
‘He has laundered money through the lease agreement,’ the lawyer alleged.
The hearing of the case was adjourned until Thursday.