SC to resume hearing Imran Khan disqualification petition today
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will resume today hearing a petition seeking disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan for concealing his assets and tax evasion.
A bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nasir, and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab, will hear arguments of petitioner Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi’s lawyer.
At the last hearing, the bench had expressed its dissatisfaction over assets and bank transactions’ records provided by the PTI chief.
The PTI chief’s counsel – Naeem Bukhari – had submitted that an email has been sent to Khan’s former wife Jemima Goldsmith concerning the loan that she provided to Khan for purchase of Bani Gala residence.
Bukhari said that Jemima has assured his client about sending the bank details.
To which, the chief justice remarked that the PTI chief is adopting dual stance over the money received from Jemima.
“The first response does not mention Khan receiving loan from his former wife, the matter of loan was highlighted in subsequent reply,” the chief justice remarked.
The bench queried Khan’s counsel the motive behind not providing complete asset details with Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in his nomination papers.
“The presence of 75,000 British pounds in Barclays Private Bank and Trust Ltd; and if the funds had been transferred from one account to the other, why the bank statement of 2003 was not presented before the ECP,” the bench asked.
To which, Bukhari contended that it was the job of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), and not the ECP to inquire about the income, assets and liabilities.
The chief justice then asked the counsel whether the 75,000 pounds did not constitute Khan’s assets.
In response, Bukhari replied in negative. “We reject the allegation that the money was remitted as a gift to evade tax,” he said.
The Chief Justice noted that it was a simple case but it has been deliberately made complicated. He said that the counsel had not disclosed earlier that Khan’s ex-wife Jemima had given Rs6.5 million as a gift to him.
At this, the counsel asserted that monetary exchange between wife and husband does not qualify as a loan. Joining in remarks, Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that the documents do not divulge the money trail.
Petitioner submits Imran’s asset details
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi, who is the petitioner, had submitted the record of Imran Khan’s assets in the apex court on Saturday.
Abbasi’s documents contained details of Khan’s assets that he had submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in his nomination papers back in 2003.
The documents were submitted to substantiate the ruling party’s claims that Imran Khan had received funds from the sources prohibited under the law.
The financial records submitted by Abbasi included details with regard to sale of Imran’s London apartment in 2004. Moreover, the documents do not have any mention of loan taken from Imran’s ex-spouse Jemima Goldsmith in connection with purchase of PTI chief’s Bani Gala residence.