The Supreme Court on Tuesday concluded hearing a disqualification case against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan and secretary-general Jahangir Tareen but reserved its judgement on the matter.

A three-member bench of the apex court ─ headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Umar Ata Bandial ─ has been hearing a petition filed by PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi, who seeks the disqualification of the PTI chief and Tareen.

During Tuesday's hearing, the counsel representing Khan told the court that the defence had submitted all documents they could obtain before the court.

Advocate Naeem Bokhari maintained that 100,000 pounds were available in the account of Niazi Services Limited (NSL) ─ an off-shore company owned by the PTI chairman. In July 2007, 20,000 pounds were transferred to Imran's personal account, he added. Bukhari said that in March 2008, another sum of 22,000 euros was transferred into the account and was cashed four years later in 2012.

During previous hearings of the case, the 100,000 pounds retained in the NSL account had come under question. The lawyer had told the court that the sum was retained to cover legal fees. However, later the defence had backtracked and claimed that the amount had only initially been retained but parts of it were later remitted to Khan by the company.

On Tuesday, the lawyer maintained the second position and recounted it before the court.

During the hearing, Justice Bandial said that Imran had not declared his euro account in his nomination papers and asked when the account had been opened and with what sum of money.

The lawyer told the court that the account had been opened while the court heard arguments pertaining to the PTI chief's London flat. He added that his client had subsequently brought the money from the euro account to Pakistan.

As Bukhari completed his arguments, Akram Sheikh, the lawyer representing Abbasi, said that while the defence had presented documents pertaining to Jemima Khan's Bani Gala property, documents regarding assets owned outside of Pakistan by the PTI chief's former wife had not been presented in court.

"Naeem Bokhari says that hiding assets can be a mistake," Sheikh said.

He claimed that during the hearing of the case, the PTI chief had changed his stance 18 times.

"The shifting of his position shows that he is not Sadiq and Ameen," the lawyer added.

The court reserved its verdict after the lawyers wrapped up their arguments.

Hyde house

After the court reserved its verdict in the case against Khan, the bench questioned the lawyer representing Tareen regarding the PTI leader's property in Britain.

Specifically, the bench inquired after Hyde House ─ a piece of property in London which covers 12 acres of land. During a previous hearing, Advocate Sikander Bashir had told the court that Tareen had bought the house for his children for 2.1 million pounds through a trust.

During Tuesday's hearing, the lawyer told the court that the property is owned by Shiny View Limited, an offshore company. The 12 acres of land, too, are registered under Shiny View Limited, he added.

The chief justice asked the lawyer where the money for the property had come for. "Did Tareen give the money to the trust for the property?"

The lawyer told the bench that his client had given the money to the trust. He said that Shiny View was established in 2017 and his client had sent money to the trust from his lawful income.

Advocate Bashir denied that Tareen is the beneficial owner of the off-shore company.

"Tareen has shown us the complete money trail," Justice Arab said. "He is a lifetime beneficiary of the trust."

The chief justice observed that the PTI leader had sent money directly to the off-shore company, not through the trust.

"The off-shore company is registered under the trust. The trust is a legal entity," the lawyer said.

The chief justice then observed that there are discrepancies between Tareen's responses to the court and a trust deed presented before the bench in previous hearings.

Justice Bandial told the lawyer that since Tareen is a beneficiary of the trust, he should have declared it in his nomination papers.

Advocate Azid Nafees, representing the petitioner, told the court that Tareen's children are not the beneficiaries of the trust yet.

"It appears to be true that the children are not the beneficiaries," the chief justice said.

The court reserved its verdict in the cases against Khan and Tareen after hearing the arguments presented by the lawyers.



23 May, 2022

Defection rulings

By setting aside the existing law to prescribe their own solutions, the institutions haven't really solved the crisis at hand.
23 May, 2022

Spirit of the law

WOMEN’S right to inheritance is often galling for their male relatives in our patriarchal society. However, with...
23 May, 2022

Blaming others

BLAMING the nebulous ‘foreign hand’ for creating trouble within our borders is an age-old method used by the...
Updated 22 May, 2022

Back in the game?

WITH the new government struggling to make crucial decisions independently, Pakistan’s ‘parallel governance...
22 May, 2022

Currency concerns

IN the midst of the power struggle in the country, the rupee slid past 200 to a dollar in the interbank market last...
Updated 22 May, 2022

Shireen Mazari’s arrest

Abuse of power can never be condoned, regardless of who it targets or from where it emanates.