Jahangir Tareen submits leased land revenue records in SC

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Secretary General Jahangir Tareen submitted on Monday the revenue record of more than 18,000 acres of agricultural land to the Supreme Court, which he claimed to have obtained on lease.

The revenue record comprises 10 pages encompassing the details of lands obtained on lease in Rahimyar Khan. Affidavits of the leases, besides agreements were also submitted to the court.

The PTI general secretary directly owns 706 acres land and an additional 18,566 acres of leased land that comprises 86 farms.

Earlier on Oct 12, the Supreme Court had directed him to file revenue record of 18,566 acres of the leased land after the top court noted that Tareen did not show his agri-income from the leased land in his tax returns.

In the last hearing, Tareen’s counsel Sikandar Bashir Mohmand contended that the tax audit is a sole responsibility of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the petitioner intends to waste the court’s time.

To which, Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal remarked that the bench is conducting disqualification proceedings over non-declaration of assets by his client Jahangir Tareen in his nomination papers.

In light of asset details submitted by the Tareen’s counsel, the chief justice noted that the PTI leader did not declare his actual income in the nomination papers. “Jahangir Tareen did not mention his exact earning from agricultural lands,” CJP remarked.

In response, Mohmand argued that his client had acquired these lands on lease (contract basis) and Tareen had declared it in his nomination papers in 2013.

The chief justice then queried the income generated from the leased lands are whether qualified as an asset or not. “If these earning are assets, then why the PTI leader did not mention the income from agricultural lands in the nomination papers,” the CJP asked.

A person who earns Rs10 billion from a leased land, would he be exempted from taxes levied on income, besides what income would he declare on his nomination papers, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar further asked.

In response to the CJP’s query, Tareen’s counsel apprised the bench he would write ‘nil’ in the ‘income column’ since taxes are not levied on the contract basis income.

Subsequently, Hanif Abbasi’s counsel said the forged lease papers were prepared to conceal money laundering. Hearing the arguments from both sides, the bench then adjourned the hearing till Tuesday (Oct 17).

The petition has been filed by PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi – seeking disqualification of two PTI leaders; Imran Khan and Jahangir Tareen – over non-disclosure of assets, offshore companies, and tax evasion.