SC notes inconsistencies in Imran’s money trail regarding 100,000 pounds


Haseeb Bhatti

Islamabad, The Supreme Court on Tuesday noted that the money trail submitted by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan regarding a sum of nearly 100,000 pounds was inconsistent.

A three-member bench of the apex court ─ headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Atta Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab ─ was hearing a petition filed by PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi which seeks the disqualification of PTI Secretary General Jahangir Tareen and Imran over the alleged non-disclosure of assets, existence of offshore companies, as well as receiving foreign funding for PTI.

A day before, Imran had submitted additional documents before the apex court, seeking to provide a money trail of nearly 100,000 pounds that the SC had raised questions over.

As he submitted the documents before the court, Imran had backtracked on his earlier position that approximately 99,000 pounds had been spent on legal fees and associated costs. Instead, he had claimed that the amount had only initially been retained in the bank account of Niazi Services Ltd but parts of it were later remitted to him by the company.

During Tuesday’s hearing, the chief justice remarked that the record of the sum is being submitted before the court in pieces and is inconsistent.

The chief justice noted that Imran had not yet submitted any record before the court to help determine whether or not the amount had been spent on legal fees.

Furthermore, Justice Bandial added that no record had been provided regarding 27,000 pounds out of the total sum.

Imran’s counsel, Advocate Naeem Bukhari, told the court that on May 26, 2003, the PTI chief’s former wife, Jemima Khan, had transferred 93,000 pounds to Imran for the purchase of the Bani Gala property.

He added that the amount was received by Imran in pieces; he first received 40,000 pounds and then 42,000 pounds.

The court ordered the petitioner to file his response before the bench.

Tareen yet to submit revenue records

During Tuesday’s proceedings, the counsel representing Tareen told the apex bench that his client had submitted all the records pertaining to 18,566 acres of land which, he maintained, Tareen acquired through a lease.

However, the court reminded the lawyer, Advocate Sikander Mohmand, that his client has yet to submit khusrabandi and malia records which the bench had sought during a hearing on Oct 5 along with other relevant revenue records showing how much money Tareen had paid to the lessor to get lease of 18,566 acres of land in 2010 as well as evidence proving that he had earned around Rs1.6 billion agriculture income from the said land.

The lawyer told the court that records of the tax paid by Tareen on water and electricity have been furnished before the court. He maintained that the owner of the land — and not his client — was liable to pay taxes on the land.

The court, however, again ordered the lawyer to submit the revenue records.

The hearing was adjourned until tomorrow (Wednesday).