Pak Supreme Court declares Imran Khan not out; Jahangir Tareen disqualified

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Web Report

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court rejected Hanif Abbasi’s petition for Imran Khan’s disqualification on Friday. However, the court disqualified Jahangir Tareen for life.

The verdict was announced by a three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Nisar, Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab.

The detailed written judgement in the petition against Tareen, penned by Justice Nisar, stresses the need for having honest leaders in the country, saying, “The states which are not governed by honest and upright people are bound to suffer and lag behind the developed nations of the world.”

On the maintainability of the petition, the judgement rejects the objection that it was filed by Abbasi in retaliation to the one filed by Khan against Nawaz Sharif over the Panama Papers.

“We on the basis of the material on the record are not persuaded to hold that the petition is a counterblast to a similar kind of a petition filed by Imran Khan Niazi against Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif or this is a proxy petition filed for the benefit of someone else, and it is tainted with mala fide and has been filed with ulterior motives,” reads the judgment.

The chief justice said that Khan was not liable to declare Niazi Services Ltd in his 2013 nomination papers as he was not a shareholder.

He added that Khan had submitted all the information asked of him, adding that only a small amount of the money trail sent by Jemima Khan was unaccounted for.

Bani Gala property is Khan’s; he bought the land for his family, the chief justice said while reading the judgement.

The bench found PTI secretary general Jahangir Tareen to be dishonest under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution and Section 99 of Representation of People Act (ROPA), adding that the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) should have taken action against him for insider trading.

Article 62(1)(f) — which sets the precondition for the head of government to be “sadiq and ameen” (truthful and honest) — had led to the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif from holding public office in the July 28 judgement on the Panama Papers case.

“The respondent [Tareen] is disqualified in terms of Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution read with Section 99(1)(f) of ROPA for the non-declaration of his property/asset i.e. ‘Hyde House’ in his nomination papers, and in making untrue statement before this Court, that he has no beneficial interest in SVL [offshore company]; therefore, he should cease to hold the office as the member of the National Assembly with immediate effect,” reads the judgement.

The chief justice notes that Tareen also committed the offence of insider trading in terms of Section 15-B of the Ordinance (ibid). – abdulbasit@theuaenews.com