Islamabad (October 04, 2017): A three member bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday heard petition seeking disqualification of PTI Secretary General Jahangir Tareen for not declaring offshore company.
The bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard the case filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Leader Hanif Abbasi.
Tareen counsel Sikander Bashir Mohmand while advancing arguments said that the name of his client was not in Panama Papers leaks.He said that the petition against his client was filed not in public interests rather for political interest.
Upon this, Justice Umer Ata Bandial asked the counsel whether Tareen did not hold public office. The counsel replied that in the capacity of public office holder his client presented himself for accountability.The chief justice raised question over discrepancies in tax returns and nomination papers submitted with the ECP.
The petition alleges that Tareen owns offshore companies in the name of his children, shared gifts worth over Rs1.6 billion among family members, and was involved in insider trading in the shares of United Sugar Mills Limited in 2005.
Justice Bandial during the course of hearing remarked that it was mandatory to declare assets and wealth [for politicians seeking public office] as per the law.Tareen’s lawyer, presenting his arguments, said that the petition has been filed as a tit for tat for a petition against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif filed by Tareen.
“The petition has been filed on a political basis,” he said.
When asked in the previous hearings what grounds he seeks to disqualify the lawmaker, Abbasi’s counsel had said Tareen failed to declare his offshore companies, did not pay agro tax and committed insider trading. He added that the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) sent a notice to Tareen over insider trading as well.Justice Bandial, addressing Abbasi’s counsel, had observed that the petitioner had not provided any material regarding Tareen’s offshore company. The judge wondered why the counsel brought forward the matter of the offshore company if he did not have sufficient material on it.
The counsel informed the bench that Tareen showed his agriculture revenue to be Rs540 million to the Federal Board of Revenue whereas the same was shown as Rs120 million to the Election Commission of Pakistan. He said the difference is of Rs420 million in 2010.
Chief Justice Nisar responded that if he paid less income tax then it was a matter between Tareen and the income tax authorities.