Islamabad (October 23, 2017): The Supreme Court (SC) will resume hearing of Jahangir Tareen disqualification case today.
A three-member bench of the apex court ─ headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Atta Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab ─ will pick up the case from the last proceedings held on Thursday.
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PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi through a constitutional petition has sought the disqualification of Tareen and PTI Chairman Imran Khan and General Secretary Jahangir Tareen over the alleged non-disclosure of assets, existence of offshore companies, as well as receiving foreign funding for PTI.
During Thursday’s hearing the bench had deliberated the nuances of the definition of integrity as under Article 62(1)(F) of the Constitution before adjourning the case until Oct 23.
Under the article, a person is not qualified to hold public office if he is not ‘sadiq’ and ‘ameen’ ─ truthful and trustworthy.The court had also questioned whether or not Tareen acted fairly as the director of JDW Sugar Mills when the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) had ordered him to pay a fine of Rs70 million in 2005 when his employees engaged in insider trading.
The CJP had asked the parties involved to assist the court in establishing whether the penalties paid by Tareen could be considered part of the public expenditure after his counsel — trying to establish that the fine imposed could not be considered a ‘conviction’ — argued that the payment under sections 15-A and 15-B of the Security Exchange Ordinance 1969 had nothing to do with the consolidated funds and that penalties imposed under it never went to the public exchequer.
Justice Bandial, however, had asked whether it was a rightful exercise to allow personal benefit, especially when Tareen — as a director of the JDW Sugar Mill — was privy to specialised information about the acquisition of USML.“We are not looking into conviction, only questioning whether you acted fairly or not,” Justice Bandial had observed.
The counsel, however, had argued that sections 15-A and B did not even remotely relate to the imposition or regulation of taxes.
When the court had observed that the counsel was trying to wriggle his way out of the law, the lawyer had responded by citing Article 4 of the Constitution, which ensures the right of all individuals to be dealt in accordance with the law.Tareen’s counsel, Sikandar Bashir Mohmand, had said that his client wished to close the matter with the SECP as he had already paid a fine to the regulatory body.
Justice Arab raised the question of whether action could be taken under criminal law against insider trading. “If the SECP law is correct, then do Tareen’s actions exhibit integrity?” he asked.
Mohmand said his client had already provided his justification to the SECP and it was his honesty that had helped him avoid getting into any controversy over insider trading. He added that Article 62(1)(F) specified what honesty means.