SC directs Imran to submit affidavit in offshore companies case


ISLAMABAD, May 9 (APP): The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan to submit an affidavit along with his response in the case relating to his offshore companies.
A three-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar
resumed hearing of the case filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
leader Hanif Abbasi seeking disqualification of the PTI Chairman as
member of the National Assembly for not disclosing assets, owning of offshore companies and receiving foreign funding for the PTI.
During the course of proceedings, petitioner’s counsel Akram Sheikh raised questions regarding the procedure adopted by Imran Khan for the acquisition of land for his Bani Gala residence and the source of the money used for the purpose.
He asked as to how did Imran generate money for buliding his Bani Gala residence. Imran Khan, in an earlier assets declaration, had declared that he had received the land measuring 300 kanals as a gift from his former wife Jemima Khan, but during the hearing of a case by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) last year he claimed that he himslef had purchased the land, Sheikh alleged.
It could have been acceptable if the property had been transferred to Imran before their divorce in 2002, but assets transfer in Imran’s name in 2005 was beyond comprehension, he said.
The Chief Justice pointed out that Abbasi’s petition accused Imran Khan of five possible violations of law, including ‘foreign funding’ being received by the PTI – the most significant one.
He also noted that the petitioner had raised questions regarding the money trail for purchasing London flat by Imran, transparency behind the money he received from Jemima Khan, the acquisition of land on which his Bani Gala residence is situated, and the allegation that Imran Khan had not declared his off-shore company, ‘Niazi Services’, to the ECP.
Sheikh requested the court to club the ongoing petition against
Imran Khan with the Panama Papers case, insisting that the accusations
made in both the cases were similar and that Imran Khan was an important political figure, who deserved the same level of scrutiny to which the
prime minister was being subjected to.
The CJP observed that if the court started hearing petitions for the
dismissal of ordinary parliamentarians, it would open a Pandora’s box of frivolous writs seeking the same.
Advocate Sheikh replied that Imran Khan was not an ordinary parliamentarian, rather he was the leader of a major political party.
In a pointed reference to the Panama papers case verdict, the Chief Justice asked Sheikh whether he wanted Imran Khan to be disqualified based on the minority decision.
Sheikh said that it was the majority’s decision which counted and that this case was separate from the Panama Papers case.
Advocate Naeem Bukhari, counsel for Imran Khan, said that documents relevant to case had been submitted while he would submit Imran’s affidavit on Wednesday.
The court directed the ECP to submit documents that Imran Khan had submitted to them in 2002 till Friday.
PTI’s counsel Anwar Mansoor, who will substitute Naeem Bukhari, will start his arguments on Wednesday.