July 12, 2017

SC seeks details of income sources from Imran

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday consented before the Supreme Court to act as an Inquiry Commission for probing foreign funding of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bindial and Justice Faisal Arab, resumed hearing in the petitions, filed by PML-N leader Hanif Abbassi seeking disqualification of the PTI chief and Secretary General Jehangir Tareen over alleged tax evasion.

The court observed that Imran Khan should give an account of his income as the principle for catching theft was also applicable on him. The court questioned where Imran got money to buy flats in London.

The petitioner had accused the two PTI leaders for not declaring their assets to the ECP; hence, praying the apex court to unseat them based on their alleged violations of the Income Tax Ordinance, 1979 and the Peoples Act, 1974.

Counsel for ECP Raja Ibrahim Sathi told the court that they had no objection if the ECP acts as the Inquiry Commission to inquire the foreign funding of PTI.During the course of hearing, Naeem Bukhari, counsel for Imran Khan, submitted that Khan has played cricket from 1971 to 1980 and purchased flat with the money earned from cricket.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said that Imran Khan should have the same criteria for himself against corruption that he prefers for his opponents.The court directed Imran Khan to provide the money trail of the London flat, as so far instead of documents he has filed affidavits.

Akram Sheikh, counsel of petitioner Hanif Abbasi, however, contended that Imran Khan has played cricket for seven years and must have earned lot of money, adding he should have provided documents about these funds on the first day, but so far he only filed affidavits in this regard.

The chief justice observed that these are inquisitorial proceeding so everything in such hearings depends on documents, submitted before the court. He said: “We don’t know whether money [for flat] was given to Imran Khan by his father or sister.” All money Imran earned from cricket has to be established, he added.

Naeem Bukhari said that Kerry Packer has given him the money for playing cricket in Australia and England. The chief justice noted that Kerry Packer must have paid Imran through cheques and Imran must have had deposited that money in his bank account and the payment for the flat must have been made through bank as well.

Naeem Bukhari argued that Imran purchased the flat with UK Pound 117,000 in 1983 and in 2000 under amnesty schemes disclosed in his tax return,Pound 117,000 in 1983 and in 2000 under amnesty schemes disclosed it his tax return, adding at that time Imran Khan was not pubic office holder.

At this, Justice Umar Atta Bandial proposed to him to read apex court judgment on Memon Aziz then his issue of public office holder would be cleared. Meanwhile, the chief justice expressed displeasure over PTI counsel Anwar Mansoor. He said Mansoor had told the court that he would come back on July 21, but now sought adjournment till August 15. The PTI counsel has sought adjournment from July 15 to August 15 and in this regard he filed application one day (Monday) before the hearing of the case.

The chief justice asked Naeem Bukhari that they would direct Imran Khan to appear before the court himself to inform who would represent the party as Anwar Mansoor is on general adjournment till August 15. The CJP said Mansoor taking the proceeding very casual.

Naeem Bukhari told that Anwar Mansoor had submitted the reply on Election Commission petition. The chief justice said the reply is not enough as he also has to argue the case. Meanwhile, the court directed Bukhari to inform the court when Anwar Mansoor would appear for arguments and adjourned the hearing until Thursday.


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