The Supreme Court will resume the disqualification case against Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan from September 12, announced the apex court on Thursday.
The case, filed by PML-N's Hanif Abbasi, is being heard by a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar. The petition asks for the disqualification of Imran Khan and PTI Secretary General Jahangir Tareen for the non-disclosure of assets, ownership of offshore companies, and for PTI being a foreign-aided party.
Abbasi has alleged that Imran Khan had violated the Income Tax Ordinance (ITO) 1979 by not declaring his offshore company — Niazi Services Limited (NSL) — in his statement of assets and liabilities submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan while filing his nomination papers for contesting different general elections, including that of 2013.
The petition also alleged that in his declaration of assets for tax year 2014, Khan had willfully concealed his investment of Rs2.97 million to purchase a luxury apartment at Constitution Avenue’s Grand Hyatt locality in Islamabad.
This was a clear violation of sections 12(2) (f) and 42A, read with section 82 of the Representation of the Peoples Act 1976, and, therefore, he was liable to be disqualified on this account alone, the petition said.
In the last hearing of the case, on August 03, while presenting his rebuttal to PTI's arguments PMNL-N's lawyer Akram Sheikh had argued that Imran Khan should be disqualified for not declaring a loan that he received from his former wife, Jemima, as an asset.
The PML-N lawyer had kept drawing parallels between this case and the Panamagate case, saying that the SC had disqualified former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for not declaring a salary that he could have received from his son's company in its ruling on the Panama Papers case.
Upon hearing this argument Justice Atta Bandiyal maintained that since the Panama Papers case was related to the Sharif family's personal assets, the comparison was invalid.
He had also suggested that Sheikh read the SC's verdict before commenting on it.
Sheikh had also raised questions about the PTI chief's statements over the purchase and ownership of his Bani Gala residence.
PTI’s ‘foreign funding’ case in ECP
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday ordered the PTI to present its funding records to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The Commission was hearing a petition filed against the PTI by Akbar S. Babar seeking the disqualification of Khan on the allegation that his party had procured funding through illegal means.
In the last hearing of the case, the ECP had rejected PTI’s appeal to halt the election body's proceedings on the case, issuing the party yet another "last chance" to submit its full financial records by September 7 (today).
Previously, the IHC had rejected PTI's plea to prevent the ECP from hearing Babar's petition, saying that the case has been going on since 2014 and has already once been referred back to the ECP.
Two foreign funding cases against PTI
It is pertinent to note that PTI and its chairman are currently involved in two separate cases, both alleging that the party has acquired funds from prohibited foreign sources.
Akbar S Babar's petition alleged that nearly $3 million in illegal foreign funds were collected through two offshore companies, registered under Imran Khan’s signature, and that money was sent through illegal "hundi" channels from the Middle East to accounts of PTI employees.
He also alleged that the foreign accounts used to collect funds were concealed from the annual audit reports submitted to the ECP.
Meanwhile PML-N's Hanif Abbasi's petition, currently being heard by the Supreme Court, seeks PTI chairman Imran Khan's disqualification, alleging that his party acquired funds, amounting to millions of dollars, from prohibited foreign sources, including multinational corporations.
The SC is expected to form a commission to investigate the issue.