SC upholds Jahangir Tareen’s disqualification

The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday dismissed a review petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen who had challenged a verdict that declared him unfit to hold public office.
As the hearing went under way, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar remarked that the court will not hear the case again. “We kept asking you [to declare assets] but you took very long to even submit the trust deed,” the chief justice remarked.
The chief justice further observed that it was now the trend that leaders should bring back money in the country. “Money from abroad should be brought back to Pakistan,” Justice Nisar noted.
Addressing Tareen’s lawyer, Sikandar Basheer Mohmand, the top judge said, “Your client is a significant leader. Has he ever thought about bringing money back to Pakistan?”
Further, the chief justice said it had come to his knowledge that Tareen bought a company and shares. “How can a public representative make such suspicious transactions?”
Further, the apex court also refused to form a full bench to hear a review petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi against the Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss the disqualification case against PM Imran.
The chief justice asked Advocate Akram Sheikh, the petitioner’s lawyer, why he had lodged the plea. “On what grounds do you want the full court to hear this petition?” asked Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar.
Responding to the chief justice, Sheikh stated that the court had earlier said Imran’s disqualification case did not have ‘strict liability’ but SC’s Panama bench had declared Nawaz Sharif unfit to hold public office in a case that was similar in nature.
Abbasi, in his 13-page review petition, has demanded the disqualification of Imran over non-disclosure of his assets and ownership of offshore companies. The petition states that now, since Imran has become the prime minister, the matter is more pertinent for the public.
Disqualification petitionThe original petition, filed by Abbasi in November 2016, had sought Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen and Imran’s disqualification over non-disclosure of their assets and ownership of offshore companies.
It accused the PTI leaders of not declaring their assets to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and violations of the lncome Tax Ordinance, 1979, and Peoples Act, 1974. It also claimed that the PTI is a ‘foreign-funded’ party.
In its December 15 ruling last year, the apex court had disqualified Tareen but ruled in favour of Imran.
The chief justice had cleared Imran in the case as the petitioner was not directly affected in the foreign funding case. The judgment stated that Imran wasn’t bound to declare his offshore company, declare his London flat in an amnesty scheme and that his former wife Jemima gave Imran the funds for buying the Bani Gala estate.
However, Tareen was disqualified under Article 62(1)(f) because of his blatant misstatement regarding the ownership of the Hyde House property and failure to declare it in his nomination papers.
Tareen had then filed a review petition against the apex court’s verdict.