SC rejects Nawaz Sharif’s appeals over wealth tax | Pakistan Today

SC rejects Nawaz Sharif’s appeals over wealth tax

  • Will not spread unconfirmed allegations like Imran, says Nawaz Sharif

  • Informal PML-N meeting discusses fake NOC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan on Thursday dismissed appeals filed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Kulsoom Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif related to the payment of wealth tax.

The Sharif family had challenged the valuation of wealth taxes on their various shares in several companies. They maintained in their petition that for four years, the petitioners’ wealth tax was assessed disproportionately to the market value of their stocks

The accountability court began hearing the supplementary Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investment Ltd references against Sharif and his family.

During the hearing, five more witnesses recorded their statements while cross-examination over their statements was also completed. Adjourning the hearing till Friday, the court also summoned three more witnesses.

PML-N’s counsel Khawaja Haris requested the court for the recording of the statement of Panamagate Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) head Wajid Zia, saying his statement should be recorded and cross-examination simultaneously in all three references.

“The main motive of this request is to heading the case towards correct direction,” Haris said.

Earlier, in the morning as the hearing went underway, the court was informed that Nawaz’s primary counsel, Khawaja Harris, was busy in the Supreme Court and will be able to join the accountability court proceedings by 1 pm.

Nawaz’s secondary counsel Ayesha Hamid pleaded before Judge Mohammad Bashir that her client is exempted from appearing again. The NAB prosecutor opposed the plea, saying the accused needs to be present when witnesses record statements as per the law.

However, the judge accepted the plea and adjourned the hearing until 1 pm when eight witnesses named in the supplementary references were to record their statements.

As the hearing resumed, witness Naveed-ur-Rehman began recording his statement, in which Harris and NAB prosecutor Muzaffar Abbasi exchanged heated arguments over the NAB prosecutor’s “constant meddling”.

The two, however, resolved their differences on the judge’s intervention.

UNCONFIRMED ALLEGATIONS:

Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday that unlike Imran he will not spread unconfirmed allegations about the matter related to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s Bani Gala residence.

He said that he will make a statement after reaching a conclusion on the subject. He also said that he is observing what Supreme Court will do when it takes up the case at 1 pm on Thursday.

The case pertains to illegal structures in Bani Gala locality, on the capital’s outskirts.

NAWAZ HOLDS MEETING OVER FAKE NOC

Meanwhile, an unofficial Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) meeting, chaired by Nawaz Sharif was held at Punjab House on Thursday to discuss Imran Khan’s allegedly fake No Objection Certificate (NOC).

According to reports, an advisory meeting was held with other members of the party to discuss and deliberate over the issue of Imran Khan’s allegedly fake NOC and blueprint submitted to the apex court in the Bani Gala residence case.

The meeting was attended by Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Ansar Aziz, Barrister Zafarullah and Capital Administration and Development Division Tariq Fazal Chaudry.

During the meeting, Nawaz Sharif was briefed by experts on the various legal angles pertaining to the allegedly fake Bani Gala NOC.

THE REFERENCES:

The NAB has in total filed three references against the Sharif family and another against the former finance minister Ishaq Dar in the accountability court, in light of the Supreme Court’s orders in the Panama Papers case verdict of July 28.

The references against the Sharif family pertain to the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, their London properties, and over dozen offshore companies owned by the family.

Maryam and Safdar are only nominated in the London properties reference. At an earlier hearing, the court also approved Maryam and Safdar’s bail in the Avenfield properties case and ordered them to submit surety bonds worth Rs5 million each.

Meanwhile, in another major blow to the political career of Nawaz Sharif, the Supreme Court (SC) had ruled that a person disqualified under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution of Pakistan cannot head a party, making Nawaz ineligible to lead the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).



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