Friday Jan 12, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen filed on Friday an appeal in the Supreme Court of Pakistan against his disqualification from Parliament.
A Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, had disqualified Tareen on December 15 in its decision on a petition filed against Tareen and PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
Clearing Imran, the court had declared Tareen dishonest under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution, stating that the PTI leader used suspicious terms in his statements to the court, besides not declaring his offshore company.
Following his disqualification, Tareen had claimed that he was disqualified over the interpretation of a legal term.
Tareen has submitted an affidavit with the review petition, stating that the purpose of establishing the Random Trust was to provide a family dwelling in England for his children and grandchildren.
He stated that the inclusion of him and his wife as lifetime beneficiaries in the settlement was a protective measure only. It adds that Tareen never intended, expected or planned for the dwelling held under the trust to be transferred to him or his wife during his lifetime.
He states further that the reason he did not mention his offshore company Shiny View Limited or Hyde House (the palatial residence) in his nomination papers or tax returns as he had arrived at this conclusion based on his honest belief and understanding of the legal effect of the trust arrangement.
He claimed that the question of concealing the trust does not arise since it was funded through remittances from Pakistan using official banking channels.
“My understanding and knowledge of the trust arrangement, its legal aspects and components and its legal effect was that of a lay person gathered from my interaction with my professional advisors and the Trustees,” the affidavit states.
Tareen concludes that the documents he submitted in court during the hearing “do not warrant a declaration of dishonesty" on his part, adding that there was never any intent to mislead or conceal the truth from the court, his former constituents, the government, nor is there any evidence to the contrary on record.
The apex court, in its Dec judgment, declared that Tareen had failed to declare in his nomination papers the Hyde House property or SVL, the off-shore company established for the property. The apex court verdict said that Tareen was infact "the actual, true, real and beneficial owner of the said property".
"SVL or Hyde House was never transferred to any trust by the respondent, thus, it is his asset which he has failed to declare in his nomination papers filed on 9.9.2015 according to the mandate of the law to contest the by-elections from NA-154 Lodhran and, therefore, he is not honest in terms of Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution read with Section 99(1)(f) of ROPA," read the Supreme Court's order.
Article 62(1)(f) reads: "A person shall not be qualified to be elected or chosen as a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) unless-...he is sagacious, righteous and non-profligate, honest and ameen, there being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law."
The apex court added that Tareen had made "a blatant misstatement...before the highest judicial forum of the country", claiming he had "no beneficial interest in the trust arrangement which holds the SVL and the Hyde House" while he was infact a ‘discretionary lifetime beneficiary’ along with his spouse.
Therefore, he is declared "not to be an honest person in terms of the constitutional provisions and the provisions of ROPA".
"In his concise statement the respondent [Tareen] in unequivocal, clear and unambiguous terms stated that he has no beneficial interest in the trust arrangement which holds the SVL and the Hyde House, however from the trust deed dated 5.5.2011, on which reliance has been placed by the respondent himself, he is the ‘discretionary lifetime beneficiary’ along with his spouse and, therefore, this is a blatant misstatement on the part of the respondent made before the highest judicial forum of the country which is not a trait of an honest person. Consequently, on both the counts mentioned above, the respondent is declared not to be an honest person in terms of the constitutional provisions and the provisions of ROPA, therefore, he ceases to be the member of the Parliament having incurred the disqualification," the apex court bench wrote in its judgment.
The judgment further stated that the PTI secretary general had pleaded guilty to insider trading.
Moreover, the court ruled that Tareen used suspicious terms in his statements to the court.
It was also stated in the judgment that the court is not announcing its decision on Tareen's agriculture land matter.