Hearing the case filed by PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi regarding money laundering and tax theft against PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Secretary General Jahangir Tareen, the three-member bench warned the parties against using the court premises for media talks.
The bench, comprising Chief Justice Saqib Nasir, Justice Umar Ata Bindial and Justice Faisal Arab, said that the case should not be turned into a ‘pendulum’, saying that the two parties say conflicting things to the media.
Justice Bindial said that this would affect the dignity of the SC in the eyes of a common man.
The judges said that only lawyers can talk about the case and the media can report on it.
Imran accused of submitting ‘fake documents’
Hanif Abbasi’s lawyer Akram Shiek in his arguments said that a political party in Pakistan cannot recive funding from any foreigner under the law.
Shiekh said that the chief of a political party has to submit a certificate stating that no foreign funding will be accepted by his party.
In the petition, it was requested that the court should disqualify Imran Khan and Jahanghir Tareen for concealing assets and ‘offshore companies’ in their nomination papers that were filed to the Election Commission of Pakistan.
The petitioner alleged that the certificates submitted by Imran were fake and the federal government has filed a reference against to it seeking action.
Clarifying that the petition is not aimed at “punishment” for PTI, Sheikh said that he is only demanding action against one person for giving false comments.
Justice Faisal Arab during the hearing asked Sheikh if he had contacted the Election Commission regarding the issue as he was asking for the disqualification of a member of Parliament on the basis of electoral laws. He also asked him why he chose only Imran Khan out of all members of the Parliament.
Sheikh told the judge that he has not contacted any other forum but said he will cite a Supreme Court verdict regarding the disqualification of an MNA. He argued that a member of Parliament can be disqualified under Article 62.
Justice Umar Ata Bindial in his remarks said that if Imran Khan had sold his apartments in 2003 it would mean that they ceased to be assets. To this, the petitioner replied that the PTI leader did not declare Niazi Services between 1983 and 2002 while it was necessary to declare it in 2002 and 2013 elections.
On being questioned what law has Imran violated by not declaring his company, Sheikh replied that he does not exactly know the law and would need to consult a tax expert but can say that submitting fake declaration is a crime and can be called corruption.
Abbasi’s petition was accepted by the apex court in November last year by former chief justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali.
Imran Khan on Tuesday had requested Supreme Court to dismiss the petition against him.
Imran Khan had questioned the maintainability of the petition a day before its first hearing on the ground that the intent behind Abbasi`s petition is only to show his loyalty for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif; moreover, the petitioner is himself an accused in ephedrine case.
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