Dubai property leaks: Justice Mansoor didn't get possession of UAE apartment

SC judge stresses that despite making initial deposit further instalments were not paid and nothing was finally purchased

By
Fakhar Durrani
Dubai property leaks: Justice Mansoor didn’t get possession of UAE apartment
Senior Supreme Court judge Justice Mansoor Ali Shah. — SC website/File
  • Justice Mansoor confirms investing in Dubai property as lawyer. 
  • He says property didn't materialise due to city's property slump.
  • Judge's 2016 tax returns show him as owner of Rs2.38m property. 

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court's senior puisne judge Justice Mansoor Ali Shah has said that he didn't take possession of his Dubai property as the project failed to materialise due to the city's property market slump, The News reported on Saturday.

The development comes after the names of as many as 17,000 Pakistanis were made public in "Dubai Unlocked" — a six-month investigative project with reporters from 74 media outlets in 58 countries — who owned properties in the city with a combined value of around $11 billion.

Among the Pakistanis listed in the property leaks are President Asif Ali Zardari’s three children, Hussain Nawaz Sharif, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi's wife, Sharjeel Memon and family members, Senator Faisal Vawda, Farah Gogi, Sher Afzal Marwat, four MNAs and half a dozen MPAs from the Sindh and Balochistan assemblies.

The data also showed the name of Justice Mansoor for owning a property in Maison Residence Collection in the downtown Jabal Ali area of Dubai.

The News, reached out to the puisne judge to inquire about whether he still owns the property. He was also asked if he still owns the property, is it under his use or does he rent it out.

Justice Mansoor, in response, acknowledged investing in the said property as a lawyer in August 2009 which at that time was not yet built stressing that he didn't make any further payments after the initial deposits and few instalments due to the project not being completed.

"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 SC judge said.

Revealing that no payment/ contribution was made post-2010 upon realising that the project did not materialise, he stressed that the amount paid was regarded as an unrealisable asset.

"As no property was ever finally purchased, hence the question of rental does not arise," the judge noted.

His claim, as verified by the publication via the Dubai Land Registry website, stands confirmed that the property in question simply does not exist.

Declared in tax returns

Furthermore, Justice Mansoor stressed that the total contributions made by him in the property have been duly declared in his tax returns, including the tax year 2023.

"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," the judge's response read.

It is to be noted that Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Mansoor 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.