SC seeks answers to five questions from Tareen’s counsel

 
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ISLAMABAD, July 26 (TNS): Hearing the disqualification case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Khan Tareen, the three-member Supreme Court bench has sought answers to five questions from Tareen’s counsel.

The questions are when was the Jahangir Tareen’s trust formed, when was the offshore company formed, who’s the legal and beneficial owner of the company, when and for how much was the offshore company formed, and how many times did he give funds as gifts to his children from 2002-17?

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Hanif Abbasi had petitioned the apex court to disqualify Tareen and PTI Chairman Imran Khan. The petition alleges that Tareen owns offshore companies in the name of his children, shared gifts worth over Rs1.6 billion among family members, and is involved in insider trading in the shares of United Sugar Mills Limited in 2005.

The three-member bench is headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprises Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab.

At the start of hearing, the bench inquired from Abbasi’s counsel why the case is worthy of being heard in the apex court. The counsel said the matter is of public interest.

When asked what grounds he seeks to disqualify the lawmaker, the counsel replied to the bench that Tareen failed to declare his offshore companies, did not pay agro tax and committed insider trading. He added that the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) sent a notice to Tareen over insider trading as well. Justice Arab said every Member of Parliament who is served a notice by the SECP cannot be disqualified just for being served a notice.

The chief justice remarked that an elected official cannot be disqualified on the basis of allegations and that the bench has to proceed carefully in such cases.

The hearing was later adjourned till 11:30am Thursday (tomorrow).