SC seeks details of Jahangir Tareen’s offshore firms as it adjourns hearing

  • Petition filed by Haneef Abbasi seeks disqualification of Jahangir Tareen

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court of Pakistan has sought the details of offshore companies from PTI leader Jahangir Tareen, here on Wednesday.

Hearing a case against the PTI legislator today for allegedly owning offshore companies in the name of his children, sharing gifts among family members and involvement in insider trading, the court inquired what could be the link between exchange of gifts and offshore firm.

During today’s hearing, counsel for Jahangir Tareen argued that a case regarding Tareen’s tax matter was already pending in court.

The chief justice remarked that an elected official cannot be disqualified on the basis of allegations and that the bench has to proceed carefully in such cases.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab is hearing the case.

Speaking to the media outside the court, PTI Spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said Abbasi will go to jail over his own case.

He claimed that Abbasi lied in court and submitted false documents, adding that the counsel was unaware of Tareen’s crime.

He said Abbasi claimed Tareen’s company was named in the Panama Papers, which was not true.

The petition against the PTI leader was filed by ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz former legislator from Rawalpindi Haneef Abbasi last year who argued that the PTI lawmaker was involved in wrongdoings and concealment of income in nomination papers.

Regarding, Tareen, a close confidant of PTI supremo, the petitioner argued that he did not mention his offshore holdings in his statement of assets and liabilities filed before the ECP, along with his nomination papers for contesting 2013 general elections which was in violation of ‘Representation of Peoples Act’.

Imran and Tareen – respectively represented by Naeem Bukhari and Sikandar Bashir – have already submitted their concise statements, wherein they have refuted the allegations of tax evasion.

Tareen, in his concise statement, has also rejected the petitioner’s claim that no ‘admission’ or ‘confession’ (express or implied) was ever made by him in relation to the subject.

But, what could land Tareen in trouble is the reply of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan that suggested a violation of the Insider Trading Ordinance-1969 and the Companies Ordinance-1984 in the United Sugar Mills (USML) acquisition by the PTI bigwig.

“He also made roughly Rs71 million gains but returned Rs73.1 million to the SECP — including fines and legal cost that the regulator incurred on investigating the case,” the reply stated.

The SECP has requested the apex court that it probed the entire matter which culminated into the return of entire illegal gain and recovery of penalties for contravention of the relevant provision of laws.

“It is respectfully prayed that this honourable court may decide the case as deemed appropriate.”