ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran on Friday averted disqualification as the Supreme Court of Pakistan announced decision on petitions filed by Pakistan Muslim League-N leader Hanif Abbasi .
The apex court, however, disqualified PTI Secretary General Jahangir Khan Tareen as Member of the National Assembly for life under article 62-1(f).
PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi had sought disqualification of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Secretary-General Jehangir Tareen for non-disclosure of their assets and ownership of offshore companies abroad.
A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umer Ata Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab announced the much-awaited judgment.
The courtroom number 1 where the Chief Justice was holding his court was packed to its capacity. Senior leaders of the PTI and PMLN started to fill the courtroom number 1 after Friday prayers.
CJ read the 250-page verdict that stated that Imran Khan was neither director nor the shareholder of the Niazi Services Limited offshore company.
The court said Khan declared the money received from his ex wife Jemima Khan.
The court said the PTI was accused of receiving foreign funding but the petitioner was not an affected party.
The court ruled that the Election Commission of Pakistan can examine PTI's accounts details the last five years.
Declaring Jahangir Khan Tareen disqualified for life, the Supreme Court said in its judgment that the respondent could not be declared an honest person because he used suspicious terms in hi statements.
The court asked the Election Commission to issue notification to disqualify Jahangir Khan Tareen.
PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said the decision against Tareen was given on technical grounds and he could file a review petition to challenge his disqualification .
According to script
Daniya Aziz, a PMLN lawmaker, while talking to the media outside the court criticized the decision and said it was "according to the script".
He said the verdict was an attempt to save the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
State Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzen said they were not surprised by the decision as it had already been predicted by Nawaz Sharif during GT Road rally.
She accused Imran Khan of receiving money from Hindus and Jews to stage sit-ins, calling for further probe into the PTI funding.
On November 14, the apex court had reserved the judgment after the counsels for the parties concerned concluded their arguments in rebuttal.
The chief justice, while reserving the judgment, had observed that it should not be expected that the decision in the instant case will be issued so early.
“This is a matter which will be decided after examining all the facts provided by the parties concerned,” he had observed.
The judgment was keenly awaited both by the PML-N and PTI.
Imran’s counsel Naeem Bukhari in his rebuttal on November 14 had contended before the court that his client could not be disqualified for not disclosing assets of his spouse in the nomination papers and that only nomination papers could be rejected. Imran committed a mistake but it wasn’t a misdeclaration.
He had further argued that the 2002 nomination papers of his client were never challenged anywhere. Muhammad Akram Sheikh, counsel for the petitioner, however, had argued that in the judgment delivered in the Panama Papers case, the court had held that a person could be disqualified over misdeclaration.
The chief justice observed that so far whatever had been placed before them in the instant matter, the court would search out as to who was telling the truth. He said many things were incorporated by the respondent (Imran Khan) in his replies without the permission of the court and “all of these are in our notice”.
“We will look into the matter while seeing the whole picture and to see whether this is dishonesty or not as it is the matter of honesty of a personality,” the chief justice had remarked, adding that two-thirds life of a judge passed in search of truth. It is expected that the Court Room No 1 of the Supreme Court will be major attraction today (Friday) where the judgment on a high-profile case of political nature is being announced.