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SC to Resume Tareen Disqualification Case Today

Islamabad (November 14, 2017): The Supreme Court will resume hearing of a petition seeking disqualification of PTI Secretary General Jahangir Tareen today.

A three member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan will take up the petition today.

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During last date of hearing, the petitioner counsel Azid Nafees and Tareen counsel Sikander Bashir Mohmand have completed their arguments.

During last hearing of the petition on Thursday, the court had reminded the petitioner his responsibility to come up with irrefutable evidence to disqualify someone through Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

“This bar cannot be shifted to the respondent and, therefore, the petitioner has to present a comprehensible case,” Justice Umar Ata Bandial had told Mohammad Akram Sheikh, the counsel for petitioner Hanif Abbasi of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.Abbasi has filed the petition seeking disqualification of PTI chief Imran Khan and secretary general Jahangir Khan Tareen for not disclosing assets and owning offshore companies, as well as for PTI being a foreign-aided party.

At the conclusion of the hearing by a three-judge SC bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, the court assured all and sundry that it was not going to compromise justice only to please someone.“Which office is higher than that of the chief justice,” the chief justice had asked, saying that “we also have to answer on the Day of Judgement”.

On Thursday, Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf, on a court notice, had advanced his arguments to the challenge made by Tareen against sections 15-A and 15-B of the Securities and Exchange Ordinance 1969 that deals with insider trading.

Can Mr Tareen, the AG asked, now impeach or challenge the vires of a law by way of defence when he acted under the erstwhile law almost 10 years ago and when he did not throw a direct challenge to the same earlier.“Can a collateral attack be made by challenging the vires of the law before the Supreme Court for the first time when earlier proceedings in the event of insider trading had been suffered by him [Mr Tareen]? Can in a writ of quo warranto against Mr Tareen all the orders and actions that have already attained finality be reopened, more so when by way of the act of parliament such actions had been validated and were never challenged before any court of law?” he asked.The attorney general pointed out that facts relating to allegations of insider trading were never disputed by Mr Tareen; rather he joined the proceedings initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) through a show-cause notice on Dec 8, 2007. He said Mr Tareen had neither objected to any notice nor the vires of the law then.

At this, the court wondered whether there was any bar not to challenge the vires of the law at any time if he did not do the same earlier.

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