SC to decide Imran, Jahangir Tareen disqualifications together

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar Wednesday said that the court was examining Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan and its Secretary General Jahangir Tareen’s disqualification cases closely and would decide both cases together.

The CJ gave these remarks while heading a three-member bench which heard the case filed by Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz leader, Hanif Abbasi seeking disqualification of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and party’s Secretary General Jahangir Tareen over non-disclosure of assets, existing of offshore companies, as well as the PTI being a foreign funded party.

The chief justice also hinted at the possibility of fake documents submitted by Jahangir Tareen in the disqualification case and observed that some of the details in the documents were clashing with one another.

The lease agreement did not show entire facts, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar remarked.

Advocate, Sikandar Mohmand counsel for Jahangir Tareen continued his arguments before the bench and argued that the documents should not be termed fake adding that the disqualification of Tareen under Article 62 1(f) of the Constitution would be an everlasting mark.

The chief justice remarked that Jahangir Tareen acquired the agricultural land under lease but he earned income from it but did not reveal aggregated agricultural income to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Mohmand replied that the ECP had asked for information regarding proprietary land only. My client has nothing to hide in the documents submitted to the court. he claimed.

The chief justice asked what should a person do if he does not own agricultural land but earns more than Rs10 billion on that land through lease?

Should the person not share that information with ECP?. Our stance is that leased land’s owner should pay the tax.’ he remarked.

He observed that even though Tareen had the lease of the land but the income was not declared.

The law states that a person who earns money on agricultural land must pay taxes, he said and added that Tareen should have paid five percent tax on the income earned from the land,’ the CJP added.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar remarked that the question in front of the court was of integrity which could be gauged through actions.

He categorically declared that Jahangir Tareen did not declare his entire means of income to the court.

Tareen’s lawyer responded that the court should let an appropriate forum give a verdict on the tax issues first.

Another member of the bench, Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal asked: What happens if the agricultural tax was also implemented on leased land?”

To this Mohmand replied that even in this case, Tareen cannot be disqualified as he did not tell a lie anywhere.

Akram Sheikh counsel for petitioner said that Tareen’s bad intentions could be seen from the fact that he did not reveal documents of yield per acre or finance department. He had laundered money through the lease agreement, the lawyer lawyer alleged.

The hearing of the case was adjourned until Thursday.