ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that PTI chief Imran Khan’s failure to disclose money in the Niazi Services Limited (NSL) accounts before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) could have legal consequences.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, resumed hearing of the petitions filed by PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi.The petitioner seeks disqualification of Imran Khan and PTI Secretary General Jahangir Tareen for not disclosing their assets, ownership of offshore companies and the party’s foreign funding.
The court once again gave time to Imran’s counsel Naeem Bukhari to submit details of transactions made between Imran Khan and Jemima Khan for acquiring the Bani Gala property. The chief justice asked as to why Imran had not disclosed 100,000 pounds before the ECP kept in the Niazi Services Limited (NSL) account.
“If the curtain of the NSL is raised, it proves that the amount of 100,000 pounds was an asset of the respondent (Imran Khan) and it will have consequences for not disclosing it to the Election Commission of Pakistan,” the chief justice told Bukhari.
Bukhari told the court that the London flat was sold out for 780,000 pounds of which an amount of 562,000 pounds was paid to Jemima Khan, which was borrowed from her, while 125,000 pounds was left for the education of children.
The remaining 100,000 pounds were kept in the NSL account, which was spent on the flat’s litigation.Bukhari claimed that the amount in the NSL was not disclosed by his client, as the company did not belong to his client except for one of his properties that was connected to the company.
Bukhari said the land for Bani Gala was meant for Jemima Khan while Imran paid her Rs6.5 million as gift and as the first installment.The court, however, did not accept his plea and observed that when it was admitted that 100,000 pounds was an asset of the respondent, then why it was not mentioned in the nomination papers furnished with the ECP.
Muhammad Akram Sheikh, counsel for Hanif Abbasi, questioned as to why Imran had claimed that there was no money in the NSL account even though its worth at the time of dissolution was $1,000.
The chief justice said since $1,000 was an asset, Khan should have declared the sum in his nomination papers.The chief justice recalled that during the hearing, Bukhari had repeatedly changed his stance.
He said when the petitioner pointed out that Rs6.5 million was given by the respondent to Jemima as gift, then this stance was rejected by the PTI but now it was being said that the amount was a gift.
Bukhari assured the court that he will reply to all the questions.Tahir Nawaz, an accountant of Imran Khan in London, appeared before the court.On the court query, he submitted that payment to Jemima was not made by cheque but through a letter adding that it was made on the instructions of Imran Khan.
At this, the court questioned that there must be some proof of transfer of amount that should be shared with it.Justice Omar Ata Babdyal observed that payment of Rs6.5 million was not mentioned as gift in a reply submitted to the court.
Bukhari said Rs6.5 million was a gift while the Bani Gala land was to be purchased after the sale of the London flat.As the flat was sold out, the money borrowed from Jemima was paid back and the proof was available in the four ‘Intiqalaat’ made in the name of Jemima.
The court sought the money trail of 100,000 pounds. It further said there was no record of 26,000 pounds and asked the counsel to submit its record too. At this, Bukhari replied that Imran had made a statement on the amount.
Bukhari assured the court that he will contact the authority concerned for acquiring information about the Niazi Services Limited’s bank accounts.Meanwhile, the court adjourned further hearing until September 28, giving another opportunity to Bukhari for submitting the details of transactions made between Imran Khan and his ex-wife Jemima Khan for the acquisition of Bani Gala property in Islamabad.