All hopes dashed, Jahangir Tareen’s petition rejected, will remain disqualified

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the review petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Khan Tareen against his lifetime disqualification. In December 2017, Tareen had been disqualified under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution by the SC on a petition filed by Hanif Abbasi for misdeclaration of assets.

Later, in a landmark judgement announced in April 2018, the apex court had ruled that a disqualification handed down under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution is for life, which had rendered Tareen ineligible to hold a public office for life.

At the time, Tareen had argued that the SC’s ruling on lifetime disqualification is “not applicable” in his case. “I always believed 62(1)(f) to be for life, but [it is] not applicable in my case,” Tareen had said on Twitter following the April verdict.

“Full money trail provided of tax paid income, property declared in assets of children and not mine on advice of tax consultant. This was the only issue. My review is still pending and IA justice will prevail.”

The disqualification was made on the same provision under which former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was held ineligible to hold public office for life in the Panama Papers case. In the review petition against his disqualification, Tareen had informed the court that he could not present legal instruments and specific documents regarding his trust — Shiny View Limited (SVL) — and a property — Hyde House — during the course of litigation because they were not in his personal knowledge, possession or control.

“My understanding and knowledge of the trust arrangement, its legal aspect and components and its legal effect was that of a layperson gathered from my interaction with my professional advisers and the trustees,” Tareen had pleaded in the review petition.

In addition to turning down Tareen’s review petition today, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar also asked his counsel to disclose the total amount of funds his client had moved abroad.

The counsel replied that the amount mentioned in the court’s order was Rs500 million. At this, the chief justice reminded the counsel of the federal govt’s drive to repatriate funds moved abroad, adding: “Has such a big leader given any thought to returning the money.”