Pakistan

Supreme Court reserves verdict in Imran Khan disqualification case

Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on a petition of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi seeking disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan for concealing his assets and tax evasion.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nasir and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab reserved the verdict after hearing arguments from both sides on the petition.

Abbasi filed the petition in the apex court in May this year, seeking disqualification of PTI chairman Imran Khan and another party leader Jahangir Tareen for tax evasion and concealing income sources.

Naeem Bukhari, who represented the respondent PTI chief, argued before the court that Abbasi alleged in his petition that Khan did not disclose his assets in the nomination papers for the 2002 election, but no one raised any objection in this regard at the time of submission of the papers.

What’s the use of raising this objection after the passage of more than a decade, he asked and added that a returning officer had approved Khan’s nomination papers at that time.

The chief justice asked whether hiding assets in the nomination papers constituted deliberate lying or mistake on the part of the respondent.

On which, Bukhari said it might be his client’s mistake not to disclose his assets. The PTI chief cannot be disqualified on the basis of the matter dating back to 2002, he asserted.

Justice Bandial noted that there was a difference between concealing assets and misstating them.

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