PM hasn’t sought immunity under article 248: Counsel

Maryam-Nawaz-Sharif.jpg

Panamagate case

Maryam Nawaz submits details of assets, taxes

Staff Reporter

Islmabad

The prime minister lawyer on Tuesday stated that his client has not sought immunity under Article 248 and his focus on this matter is because the petitioners have based their arguments on PM’s speech in the National Assembly.
A five-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, resumed hearing in the petitions filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Jamaat-e-Islami and Awami Muslim League.
PM’s counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan pleaded that Article 19 guaranteed freedom of expression to everyone.
On this, Justice Asif Khosa reminded him that his case doesn’t fall under Article 19 and he should confine his arguments to the case. Article 19 gives you the right to express and you are seeking immunity, he observed.
We are not prosecuting the prime minister on his speech, Justice Khosa said.
Maryam Nawaz too, submitted reply before the court regarding her dependency issue. Sharing five-year tax details, Maryam said since 1992, soon after getting married she isn’t under her father’s dependency.
Hearing a set of petitions seeking a probe into the Panama Leaks and disqualification of the prime minister for “lying” in the National Assembly, the apex court on Monday had observed that it had the jurisdiction to hear the cases directly and had done so in the past.
The apex court was informed that parliament could withdraw the immunity available to its members; however, the apex court will have to give its verdict in the PanamaLeaks case in accordance with the law.
Continuing his arguments, Makhdoom Ali Khan referred to Article 66 of the Constitution that gives legal protection to the proceedings of parliament wherein it is clearly mentioned that the proceedings of parliament could not be called into question by any court.
He contended that his client had not made any wrong statement on the floor of the house and even if he had, he enjoyed immunity. When the court asked him if the immunity given to the members of parliament could be withdrawn, Makhdoom Ali Khan replied that Parliament could withdraw the immunity but even then the apex court will have to give its verdict in accordance with the law on the issue of disqualification of prime minister for his speeches.
The court asked Makhdoom if the prime minister had not given a wrong statement in Parliament then why he was seeking immunity. When Justice Ijazul Ahsan asked Khan if he was contradicting the statement of his client, he said he was not contradicting the statement of prime minister but stressed that the court should also look into Article 66 that gives legal protection to proceedings of Parliament.
Meanwhile, Maryam Nawaz submitted further details of tax returns at the Supreme Court in Panama Papers case. According to the submission all the houses at the Raiwind estate are in the name of her paternal grand mother.
According to tax details, Maryam paid a total Rs 2,314,917 in tax in 2012; Rs 6,517,504 in 2013; Rs 8,872,742 in 2014; Rs 9,340,243 in 2015; and Rs 12,128,778 in 2016.
Maryam Nawaz informed that she had never been the dependant of her father since she married in 1992.
She also submitted details of her income from agricultural and non-agricultural sources in the last five years, stating that total income in 2013 was Rs.6,517,504.
Maryam stated that she is residing in one of the five houses at Raiwind Estate since shortly after her marriage and, except for the period of exile in Jeddah from 2000 to 2007, she has continued to live there with her husband and three children.
The occupants of other houses are Ms. Shamim Akhtar, Mian Shahbaz Sharif and the family of the late Abbas Sharif. Family members bear all the expenditures collectively, she added.
She revealed that Rs 50 lakh were spent in 2013 and expenses worth Rs 60 lakh each were recorded in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Total assets owned by the family were valued at Rs73.5431 million in June 2010.
The Prime Minister’s daughter submitted that 85 kanal 19 marla agricultural land in Mauza Sultankey tehsil of Lahore was purchased in 2011 and she later returned the money to her father through bank in 2012.
She further told the court that the petitioner has leveled allegations without properly reading the property details.
Shahid Hamid, the counsel of Maryam Nawaz said that the spouse of Maryam Nawaz also pays his taxes regularly.

Requesting the court to include documents and related statements in the record, Maryam urged the Supreme Court to take action against the plaintiffs for levelling baseless allegations against her.

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