ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned hearing of a petition seeking disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Khan Tareen on Thursday.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, was hearing the petition filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi.
Abbasi has sought disqualification of Tareen for non-disclosure of his assets and ownership of offshore companies, besides receiving foreign funds for PTI.
During the hearing, the chief justice said that: “We want to know as to why Tareen showed his income less with ECP as compared to income tax returns. Whether the income in tax return was not showed on higher side in a bid to whiten black money?”
Upon this, Tareen counsel said that his client tax matters were pending before the concerned forum. The CJP said that they were not bound by tax official order.
He remarked that they wanted to see the matter in the context of honesty.
The counsel said that if the concerned tax authority gave verdict against his client then people would be entitled to file application against him.
The CJP remarked that on misstatement or lying the court can run a case under Article 184(3). The counsel said that his client (Tareen) case was different for that of Panama case. “Nawaz has been in public office for the last 36 year while his client is a public office holder for just three year,” the counsel argued.
He said that Panama case was about assets beyond know means. The CJP remarked that if there was any misstatement in the nomination papers. The counsel replied that the court can order inquiry into the mistreatment or miss-declaration.
The CJP said that in Panama case too, the court had ordered investigation and formed JIT.
Tareen counsel said that his clients had been paying taxes regularly, saying that his client was one of the biggest taxpayers of Pakistan.
The counsel maintained that Tareen had also payed provincial tax on agriculture income.
Justice Umer Ata Bandial remarked that allegation against Tareen was of whitening black money. The judge observed that those paying taxes should be provided relief and should not be punished for minor mistakes.
He asked Tareen’s counsel to provide details of the payments made against lease of agri lands.
The counsel said that he would submit the details by obtaining the same from his client.
The CJP remarked that taxpayers should not be discouraged. The top adjudicator remarked;”We are not here for scrutiny of income tax record rather trying to ascertain if there is any miss-declaration in the nomination papers.”
The top judge asked Tareen counsel whether he accepted discrepancies in the income shown in the nomination papers and tax returns.
Upon this, the counsel replied that he would say that the tax return had not been filed completely.
The judges also raised question over the agriculture income shown by Tareen. They remarked that people show agri income just to whiten black money.
Justice Faisal Arab remarked that people showed agri income for the sole purpose of whitening black money. “After paying just agri tax, such income on which no tax has been paid, is whiten and shown as legitimate income,” the judge remarked.
He said that why Tareen showed such a huge agriculture income which created doubts.
The judge remarked that these were the doubts and suspicions which warrant answers by Tareeen. The court then adjourned further hearing till next Tuesday.