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PTI to submit affidavit for his offshore companies

10 May, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The top court on Tuesday directed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan to submit affidavit along with his response in the case relating to his offshore companies after lawyer Akram Sheikh, representing PML-N’s Hanif Abbasi, requested the court to disqualify Imran Khan from the National Assembly.

While hearing a case filed by Abbasi seeking disqualification of PTI chief over tax evasion, the three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar observed that certificate pertaining to foreign funds cannot be declared fake unless it is not determined whether these funds were taken from the prohibited sources.

During the course of hearing, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar observed that the petitioner had raised objections encompassing five clauses against the PTI chief, including foreign funds from prohibited sources, non-disclosure of Niazi Services Limited (NSL) assets, money transaction from Pakistan to London and money trail of the loan for acquisition of Bani Gala property.

The chief justice observed that the party funding was the most prominent of these. He said that unless and until it was not derived as to whether the PTI took the funds from prohibited sources or not, its certificate regarding funds could not be declared as fake.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial, another member of the bench, observed if the court gives its findings on foreign funds, it will result in banning the political party.

Sheikh urged the court to merge the on-going petition against Imran Khan with the Panama case, insisting that the accusations made in both cases were of similar nature and that Khan was an important political figure who deserved the same level of scrutiny that the prime minister is being subjected to.

At one point, the chief justice asked PML-N counsel as to whether he wanted that Imran Khan be disqualified based on the decision of the minority, while referring to the Panama case verdict.

Sheikh objected to it, saying Khan was not an ordinary parliamentarian. Rather, he said, Khan was the leader of a major political party.

He said that Panama case was about a sitting prime minister, while this case was about a person who was in waiting list for premiership.

The top court asked PML-N counsel if both the cases can be equated. Chief justice observed that if the court starts hearing petitions for dismissal of ordinary parliamentarians, it will open a floodgate of frivolous petitions seeking the same.

Naeem Bukhari, representing Imran Khan, submitted before the court that all documents relevant to the case had already been submitted to the court, adding he would submit the affidavit of his client on the next date of hearing fixed for Wednesday (today).

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