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Friday June 14, 2024

Justice Mansoor didn’t get possession of apartment in Dubai

Dubai property data shows the name of Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, who owns a property in Maison Residence Collection in downtown Jabal Ali area of Dubai

By Fakhar Durrani
May 25, 2024
Senior Supreme Court judge Justice Mansoor Ali Shah. — SC website/File
Senior Supreme Court judge Justice Mansoor Ali Shah. — SC website/File

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court’s senior puisne judge, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, is named in the Dubai properties’ data. However, the judge has declared the property he acquired as a lawyer and made his assets public during his tenure as chief justice of the Lahore High Court. Despite declaring his Dubai property, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah said in his official response that as a lawyer he had invested in an off-plan property (not yet built) in Dubai with a periodical instalment plan. However, the project was not completed, and the entire investment was lost.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa and senior puisne judge Justice Mansoor Ali Shah are the only judges who, in order to ensure transparency in their personal dealings, have made their assets, local or foreign, public.

In July 2017, Justice Mansoor made his assets including Dubai property public when he was chief justice of the LHC. The documents, which were made public by him, show that the judge declared Dubai property worth Rs2.38 million for the tax year 2016.

The Dubai property data shows the name of Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, who owns a property in Maison Residence Collection in downtown Jabal Ali area of Dubai. The News sent a questionnaire to Justice Mansoor and asked whether he still owns the property? He was also asked if he still owns the property, is it under his use or he rented it out?

The senior puisne judge sent a detailed response to this scribe, which reads as follows:

“Thank you for seeking clarification on the matter. I am traveling and will be back in Pakistan at the end of May. But let me respond to your query off the cuff. As noted in your message, the transaction dates back to 12th August 2009 (not sure if this date is correct) i.e. before my elevation to the Lahore High Court.

“As a lawyer I had invested in an off-plan property (not yet built) in Dubai which had a periodical instalment plan. After the initial deposit and perhaps a few instalments, Dubai was hit by a property slump and the building project was never completed. “Hence further instalments were not paid and nothing was finally purchased. In fact, the whole thing stood abandoned and the investment made was lost. “The total contribution made has been declared up to and including tax year 2023 in the tax returns. As no payment/ contribution was made post 2010 upon realising that the project did not materialise due to property slum in Dubai. Therefore, for all practical purposes, the amount paid was regarded as an unrealisable asset. As no property was ever finally purchased, hence the question of rental does not arise.

“My tax filings are done by AF Ferguson & Co., Lahore and if you desire, I can connect you with them for confirmation of the above,” reads Justice Mansoor Ali Shah’s response. After Justice Mansoor’s response, this scribe again verified it from the Dubai Land registry website and it confirmed the senior puisne judge’s response that the said property does not exist. The Dubai Unlocked data was obtained by the Centre for Advanced Defence Studies (C4ADS), a non-profit organisation based in Washington, DC. It was then shared with Norwegian financial outlet E24 and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which coordinated a six-month investigative project with reporters from 74 media outlets in 58 countries, uncovering scores of convicted criminals, fugitives, and political figures who have recently owned at least one piece of real estate in Dubai.