ISLAMABAD – Supreme Court Thursday adjourned hearing on a petition regarding foreign funding seeking disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for an indefinite time.
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A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, comprising Justice Umar Bandiyal and Justice Faisal Arab heard the case filed by Pakistan Muslime League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi asking the court to disqualify the PTI head and Jahangir Tareen for concealing assets and violating Income Tax Ordinance. He also called the PTI a foreign-funded party.
Abbasi’s counsel Akram Sheikh presenting arguments before the bench stressing investigation into the source of funds of PTI.
Akram Sheikh said that London flat was owned by Niazi Services, not by Imran Khan. He added that flat was declared in amnesty scheme with false intentions, adding that the scheme was for individuals not for companies.
Chief Justice remarked that Imran Khan was neither share holder not an administrator of the offshore company, adding, “We want to know about real owner of the flat as according to Imran Khan he is a beneficial owner of the flat”.
Khan declared the flat which was not owned by him, Sheikh said, adding that Niazi Services was established in October 1983 and remained functional till 2015.
Niazi Services received 208,000 pounds in wake of rent of the flat.
Justice Bandial observed that Imran Khan had claimed of not receiving any amount from the tenant.
The suspicion of dishonesty never emerge if there is transparency, Akram said.
The flat was sold for 690,000 pounds, while 562,000 pounds were paid to Jemima from a bank account of Niazi Services.
Sheikh asked that not declaring the offshore company will not come under dishonesty.
He added that PTI lawyer submitted fake documents to the court, adding that four different stances were adopted regarding the land of Bani Gala.
During arguments, Akram Sheikh terms Bani Gala as “Taj Mahal”, besides adding that Imran Khan did not declare Rs14,500,000 for the land.
To which, the chief justice remarked that is it necessary to declare loans.
Whether Article 60 could be imposed on someone who did not declare the amount lent from another person, remarked Justice Faisal Arab.
Imran Khan purchased land in name of Jemima in order to evade taxes.
The chief justice observed that Khan declared his Bani Gala property in the nomination papers for the elections in 2002.
On Wednesday, PML-N’s counsel Akram Sheikh presented the arguments against PTI’s defence stating that the PTI received funds from foreign corporations violating the law.
To which, the chief justice remarked the law does not allow collection of funds from international companies, adding that the PTI head’s counsel will have to clear the matter.
The Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) is the body to determine whether funds are prohibited or not, he observed.
Justice Bandial said there is also need to establish the accusation of receiving the prohibited funds.
On Tuesday, Abbasi’s counsel asked the apex court to disqualify Imran Khan for hiding his party funds, adding that the party received the prohibited funds and submitted wrong certificates to Election Commission of Pakistan.
Remarking over the arguments, the chief justice said prohibited funds can be seized under Political Parties Act and the Public Representative Act, adding that no any disqualification can be made under the law.
On Monday, PTI’s counsel Anwar Mansoor argued before the court that Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had no authority to inquire funds of a political party after they have been audited a chartered accountant.
To which, the bench remarked that every political party is accountable for its source of funding according to Article 17 (3) of the Constitution.