ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday turned down the petition seeking the disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan; however, the PTI Secretary General Jahangir Khan Tareen was disqualified for life.
The 250-page verdict was announced at fully-packed Courtroom No 1 by the Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar who was heading a three-member Bench of the Supreme Court which also comprised Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab.
The Chief Justice declared the petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbas against Jahangir Tareen maintainable, and noted that the PTI Secretary General admitted of involvement in insider trading, and eventually remained disqualified in the light of article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.
However while announcing the verdict about Imran Khan, Justice Saqib Nisar said that the PTI Chief would remain the lawmaker. He said that Imran Khan was not liable to declare Niazi Services Limited in his 2013 nomination papers as he was not a shareholder.
The Supreme Court referred the issue of foreign funding of PTI to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for minute examination.
Both Imran Khan and Jahangir Tareen were not present in the Court when Justice Saqib Nisar read the judgement as they were in Sindh province for political engagements. The PTI’s Spokesman Fawad Chaudhry and other party leaders including Firdous Ashiq Awan, Nazar Muhammad Gondal and Senator Shibli Faraz attended the Court proceedings.
On the other hand, along with the petitioner Hanif Abbasi, PML-N leaders including the State Minister for Information Maryam Aurangzeb, the Minister for Privatization Daniyal Aziz, the State Minister for Interior Talal Chaudhry and the Prime Minister’s Spokesman Musaddiq Malik were also present in the Court.
In the view of significance of the verdict and a large number of people thronging the Supreme Court to hear the judgement, tight security has been ensured in and around the Court to avoid any untoward incident.
The judgement had been reserved on November 14 on a petition filed by Hanif Abbas, pleading the Supreme Court to disqualify Imran Khan and Jahangir Tareen under article 62 of the Constitution alleging that they didn’t disclose their assets and ownership of offshore companies in their nomination papers.
The Case lasted for 405 days during which 50 hearings were conducted and the Supreme Court proceedings took 101 hours while the Court analysed almost 7,000 documents.
In the Case, Muhammad Akram Sheikh represented Hanif Abbasi while Naeem Bukhari and Sikandar Momand were Counsels of Imran Khan and Jahangir Tareen respectively.
Since last year following the leakage of Panama documents, the Supreme Court had been the Centre of attention as earlier on July 28, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa-led five-member Bench of the Court announced a historic verdict in Panama Papers Case which not only led the disqualification of then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif but an inquiry into Corruption allegations against Sharif family also began at National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Now the judgement in Imran Khan and Jahangir Tareen disqualification Case also stole the limelight as it was being deemed to be the decider of political fate of both the PTI leaders.