ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the counsel representing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Secretary General Jahangir Tareen to submit details regarding his client’s London properties in the disqualification case against him.
A three-member apex bench – headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar and comprising of Justice Umar Atta Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab – is hearing a petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Hanif Abbasi, seeking disqualification of PTI chief Imran Khan and Jahangir Tareen over alleged non-disclosure of assets, existence of offshore companies and foreign funding for the party.
As the hearing began, Tareen’s counsel Sikandar Bashir said Tareen deposited funds in a trust from money earned from Pakistan. In response, the bench enquired regarding the process of purchasing property abroad.
Bashir replied that the first step is to form a trust after which a company is formed under the trust to purchase the property.
During the proceedings, the chief justice also remarked that “things don’t remain the same in Pakistan. Things may change tomorrow from how they are today”.
Speaking about Tareen’s London property, Bashir informed the bench that a plot worth over two million pounds was bought through the offshore company, which was registered on April 27, 2011. He added that the plot was then mortgaged to construct the house.
Bashir while explaining the matter said that his client sent $4.7 million in 2011 for the purchase of 12 acres of land and constructed a house in Hyde House in the UK. It was bought for 2.1 million pounds while an agreement for the construction of the house was worth 2.5 million pounds.
Tareen’s counsel argued that the trust deed cannot be shared to which the court responded that the counsel had said initially that he will share all the details of the case.
The bench observed that the court has to be satisfied that Tareen has no control of the London property.
The property belongs to Shiny View Limited (SVL) offshore company owned by a trust, said Tareen’s counsel adding that Tareen is not now the legal owner and trust is owned by his children.
“It is beyond my comprehension that Tareen created a trust for his children but does not have faith in them to run it,” said Justice Umar Atta Bandial.
“It has been admitted that Tareen didn’t disclose this property in his nomination papers,” said another judge Justice Faisal Arab in his remarks. He further added that “it is a general practice that people send their illegal money abroad to purchase property in the name of trust.”
Tareen’s counsel claimed that his client had sent the money through a banking channel which was earned legally.
The hearing was then adjourned until October 25 when Bashir said he will produce further details before the bench regarding the amount remitted outside the country by Tareen to satisfy the court’s query.
During an earlier hearing of the case, the bench had observed that Tareen had failed to disclose in his election forms the possession of 18,566 acres of agriculture land obtained on lease.