SC to resume hearing of Jahangir Tareen’s disqualification case


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Thursday will resume hearing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Khan Tareen’s disqualification case.

The case is being heard by a three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar.

The petition filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi is seeking the disqualification of Tareen over alleged ownership of offshore companies in the name of his children, sharing gifts worth over Rs1.6 billion among family members, and involvement  in insider trading in the shares of United Sugar Mills Limited in 2005.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Chief Justice Nisar remarked while presiding over a three-member bench of the apex court, comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Umar Atta Bandial,  “Parliament is a sovereign body and we do not want to lay down a law which could be ‘sword of Damocles’ for parliamentarians in the future.”

“The Panama Papers verdict was based on the hiding of facts, not on the intent to give false statements,” he said.

“We are looking to see if those who hold public office, who govern the country, have engaged in corrupt practices or used their office for their own benefit,” said the chief justice.

He further observed that there was no documentary evidence to establish that PTI Secretary General Jahangir Tareen had used his influence as a federal minister to get his bank loans written off.

“There is no proof that Tareen used his position in the public office to get loans written off,” the chief justice said.

During the hearing of the case, Tareen’s lawyer Sikander Mohmand told the court that Abbasi had filed a petition against Tareen for political reasons.

Justice Bandial remarked that the motive behind hiding an offshore company is to hide wealth, adding that it is mandatory to declare assets and wealth [for politicians seeking public office] as per the law.

Justice Bandial, addressing Abbasi’s counsel, observed that the petitioner has not provided any material regarding Tareen’s offshore company. The judge wondered why the counsel brought forward the matter of the offshore company if he did not have sufficient material on it.

Despite concluding hearing arguments with regard to Khan’s disqualification, the bench ruled that it would not reserve a verdict in the case until the bench does not conclude hearing into Tareen’s disqualification case.