Justice Umar Ata Bandial says Imran had not declared his euro account in his nomination papers
CJP says there are discrepancies between Tareen’s responses to court and a trust deed presented before the bench in previous hearings
Justice Umar Ata Bandial says Tareen is a beneficiary of the trust, he should have declared it in his nomination papers
ISLAMABAD, Nov 14 (SABAH): The Supreme Court of Pakistan reserved on Tuesday the verdict against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and PTI Secretary General Sardar Jahangir Khan Tareen in the disqualification case.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Umar Ata Bandial, was hearing of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Muhammad Hanif Abbasi’s petition seeking the leaders’ disqualification as members of the National Assembly over allegations of concealing their sources of income.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Naeem Bukhari, the counsel representing Imran Khan, told the court that the defence had submitted all documents they could obtain before the court
Advocate Naeem Bokhari maintained that 100,000 pounds were available in the account of Niazi Services Limited (NSL) ? an off-shore company owned by the PTI chairman. In July 2007, 20,000 pounds were transferred to Imran’s personal account, he added. Bukhari said that in March 2008, another sum of 22,000 euros was transferred into the account and was cashed four years later in 2012.
During previous hearings of the case, the 100,000 pounds retained in the NSL account had come under question. The lawyer had told the court that the sum was retained to cover legal fees. However, later the defence had backtracked and claimed that the amount had only initially been retained but parts of it were later remitted to Khan by the company.
On Tuesday, the lawyer maintained the second position and recounted it before the court.
During the hearing, Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that Imran had not declared his euro account in his nomination papers and asked when the account had been opened and with what sum of money.
The lawyer told the court that the account had been opened while the court heard arguments pertaining to the PTI chief’s London flat. He added that his client had subsequently brought the money from the euro account to Pakistan.
As Bukhari completed his arguments, Akram Sheikh, the lawyer representing Hanif Abbasi, said that while the defence had presented documents pertaining to Jemima Khan’s Bani Gala property, documents regarding assets owned outside of Pakistan by the PTI chief’s former wife had not been presented in court.
“Naeem Bokhari says that hiding assets can be a mistake,” Sheikh said. He argued that during the hearing of the case, the PTI chief had changed his stance 18 times.
“The shifting of his position shows that he is not Sadiq and Ameen,” the lawyer added. The court reserved its verdict after the lawyers wrapped up their arguments.
After the court reserved its verdict in the case against Imran Khan, the bench questioned the lawyer representing Jehangir Tareen regarding the PTI leader’s property in Britain.
Specifically, the bench inquired after Hyde House ? a piece of property in London which covers 12 acres of land. During a previous hearing, Advocate Sikander Bashir Mohmand had told the court that Tareen had bought the house for his children for 2.1 million pounds through a trust.
During Tuesday’s hearing, the lawyer told the court that the property is owned by Shiny View Limited, an offshore company. The 12 acres of land, too, are registered under Shiny View Limited, he added.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar asked the lawyer where the money for the property had come for. “Did Tareen give the money to the trust for the property?”
The lawyer told the bench that his client had given the money to the trust. He said that Shiny View was established in April 2017 and his client had sent money to the trust from his lawful income.
Advocate Bashir denied that Tareen is the beneficial owner of the off-shore company.
“Tareen has shown us the complete money trail,” Justice Faisal Arab said. “He is a lifetime beneficiary of the trust.”
The chief justice observed that the PTI leader had sent money directly to the off-shore company, not through the trust.
“The off-shore company is registered under the trust. The trust is a legal entity,” the lawyer said.
The chief justice then observed that there are discrepancies between Tareen’s responses to the court and a trust deed presented before the bench in previous hearings.
Justice Bandial told the lawyer that since Tareen is a beneficiary of the trust, he should have declared it in his nomination papers. Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal noted that it is clear in the trust deed submitted by Tareen that there are two lifetime beneficiaries of the trust.
Advocate Azid Nafees, representing the petitioner Hanif Abbasi, told the court that Tareen’s children are not the beneficiaries of the trust yet.
“It appears to be true that the children are not the beneficiaries,” the chief justice said.
The court reserved its verdict in the cases against Khan and Tareen after hearing the arguments presented by the lawyers.
CJP Justice Saqib Nisar in his remarks said the court had to decide if Imran was an honest man, adding that the judgment should not be expected tomorrow and it will take time. He remarked that the bench is looking for the truth, and will have to see if the respondent was dishonest in his dealings. The chief justice observed that the benefit of speaking the truth is that one does not have to remember what was said before.
During the hearing, the CJP asked if hiding assets in the nomination papers was a mistake or deliberate lying.
On this, Imran’s counsel Naeem Bukhari said ‘Imran failing to declare his income’ could be a mistake. “How will the mistakes committed in past impact the future?,” the CJP questioned.
The court reserved its judgment following the conclusion of remarks from Bukhari and Akram Sheikh, Abbasi’s counsel in the case. The judgment will be issued later on.