SC gives Imran one week for off-shore company’s records

Staff Reporter


The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notices to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan and ordered him to submit relevant details pertaining to Niazi Services Limited, an off-shore company owned by the PTI chairman, before the court.
A three-member bench, comprising Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, Justice Umar Ata Bindial and Justice Faisal Arab, was hearing a petition seeking the disqualification of the PTI chief and Secretary General Jehangir Tareen.
The petition, filed by the PML-N’s Hanif Abassi, accuses the two PTI leaders of not declaring their assets to the Election Commission of Pakistan and seeks to unseat them based on their alleged violations of the lncome Tax Ordinance, 1979 and the People’s Act, 1974.
After Tuesday’s hearing, the bench issued notices to PTI ordering the production of verifiable and certified account details before the court within a one-week period.
The chief justice, during the proceedings, reminded PTI counsel Naeem Bokhari that the petitioners had alleged that Khan’s London flats were owned by Niazi Services.
“It has also been alleged that the declarations made by Imran Khan regarding the flats are incorrect,” the chief justice added.
While the defence has maintained that Khan declared the flats under an amnesty scheme, the judge noted that the amnesty scheme was meant for Pakistani residents, adding that “Niazi Services is not a Pakistani company.”
When the chief justice asked Bukhari if his client was a shareholder in Niazi Services, the lawyer said he was not.
Bokhari told the court that Jemima Khan, the PTI chief’s ex-wife, had loaned money to Khan for the Bani Gala property via a bank transfer. He added that some of the money for the land was put up by the PTI chief himself.
The PTI counsel told the court that Khan had later returned the loaned amount to Jemima via a cross check and the payment was made through the accounts of Niazi Services.
Bukhari said that through the sale of flats owned in London, his client had earned 690,000 pounds sterling, while Jemima Khan had loaned Rs40m to the PTI chief for the land, Bukhari added.
“Why did she loan him an amount that was greater than the cost of the land?” Justice Bandiyal asked.
The chief justice also remarked that if Imran Khan had taken loans from his wife, evidence in this regard would have to be submitted before the court.
“If it is not proven that loans were taken from Jemima for the purchase of the Bani Gala property, there will be consequences,” he added.
Bukhari also told the court that Imran Khan had declared his investment in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in his income tax returns.
The lawyer told the bench that documents regarding the transactions will be submitted before the court and that Jemima has been contacted in this regard.
The hearing was adjourned till Wednesday morning.

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