Pakistan’s Supreme Court Friday rejected a ruling Muslim League leader’s petition seeking opposition Tehreek-e- Insaf chief Imran Khan’s disqualification as a parliamentarian .
Hanif Abbasi had sought the cricketer-turned- politician Khan’s disqualification on charges of false declaration before the Election Commission of Pakistan, non-disclosure of assets in offshore companies, and for being a foreign-funded party, Dawn online reported.
The court, however, disqualified Khan’s key aide and Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf(PTI) senior leader Jahangir Tareen for life.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, reading out the judgement, 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, however, found 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 provided the grounds for the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif from holding public office in the July 28 judgement on the Panama Papers case.
PTI secretary general Jahangir Tareen was found guilty of misusing his public office for insider trading.
“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,” the chief justice had said in October during a hearing of the case.
The chief justice said while reading the judgement said that Tareen has done insider trading under the names of his driver and cook.
The petition, filed by Abbasi in November 2016, accuses the two PTI leaders of not declaring their assets to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and seeks their disqualification based on alleged violations of the lncome Tax Ordinance 1979 and Representation of Peoples Act 1974.
On May 3, amidst a heightened political backdrop, a three-member bench of the apex court had begun hearing the petition.
During the length of the case, the lawyers from both sides had presented their arguments for over 100 hours and referred to 73 different cases as precedent. After more than 50 court hearings, the verdict was reserved on November 14.
Abbasi’s petition had sought the PTI leaders’ disqualification under charges of false declaration before the ECP, non-disclosure of assets in offshore companies, and for being a foreign-funded party.