Pakistan

Tareen’s leased land deeds not registered, observes SC

Jahangir Tareen

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court observed on Tuesday that the deeds of the leased lands of Jahangir Tareen were not registered with the revenue department. 

A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, observed that the deeds alone could bring out true facts about the respondent’s leased lands.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) secretary general Tareen’s lawyer, Sikandar Bashir told the judges that he had submitted all revenue records of the leased lands and details of amount paid to the land owners who had leased out lands to his client.

The bench had taken up a petition of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Hanif Abbasi seeking disqualification of Imran Khan and Jahangir Tareen over non-disclosure of assets, existence of offshore companies as well as the PTI being a foreign-aided party.

At the last hearing, the apex court had directed him to file revenue records of 18,566 acres of the leased land after the top court noted that Tareen did not show his agri-income from the leased land in his tax returns.

The counsel contended that the tax audit is a sole responsibility of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the petitioner intends to waste the court’s time.

To which, Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal remarked that the bench is conducting disqualification proceedings over non-declaration of assets by his client Jahangir Tareen in his nomination papers.

In light of asset details submitted by the Tareen’s counsel, the chief justice noted that the PTI leader did not declare his actual income in the nomination papers.

“Jahangir Tareen did not mention his exact earning from agricultural lands,” CJP remarked.

In response, the counsel argued that his client had acquired these lands on lease (contract basis) and he had declared it in his nomination papers in 2013.

The chief justice then queried the income generated from the leased lands are whether qualified as an asset or not. “If these earning are assets, then why the PTI leader did not mention the income from agricultural lands in the nomination papers,” the CJP asked.

A person who earns Rs10 billion from a leased land, would he be exempted from taxes levied on income, besides what income would he declare on his nomination papers, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar further asked.

In response to the CJP’s query, Tareen’s counsel apprised the bench he would write ‘nil’ in the ‘income column’ since taxes are not levied on the contract based income.

Subsequently, Hanif Abbasi’s counsel claimed that the forged lease papers were prepared to conceal money laundering.

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