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Leased lands revenues an asset or not, enquires SC

HEARING IN JAHANGIR TAREEN CASE ADJOURNED TILL 17TH 

From Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan yesterday inquired that whether income generated from the leased lands are an asset or not. “If these earning are assets, then why the PTI leader did not mention the income from agricultural lands in the nomination papers,” the CJP asked. The bench was hearing a petition seeking disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen. During the court proceedings, Tareen’s counsel Sikandar Bashir Mohmand presented his arguments before a three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar. Mohmand informed the bench that his client has provided the court with all necessary details pertaining to his income from leased lands, contending that the tax audit is sole responsibility of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the petitioner intends to waste the court’s time. To which, Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal remarked that the bench is conducting disqualification proceedings over non-declaration of assets by his client Jahangir Tareen in his nomination papers. In light of asset details submitted by the Tareen’s counsel, the chief justice noted that the PTI leader did not declare his actual income in the nomination papers. “Jahangir Tareen did not mention his exact earning from agricultural lands,” CJP remarked. In response, Mohmand argued that his client had acquired these lands on lease (contract basis) and Tareen had declared it in his nomination papers in 2013.A person who earns Rs10 billion from a leased land, would he be exempted from taxes levied on income, besides what income would he declare on his nomination papers, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar further asked. In response to the CJP’s query, Tareen counsel apprised the bench he would write ‘nil’ in the ‘income column’ since taxes are not levied on the contract basis income. Subsequently, Hanif Abbasi’s counsel said the forged lease papers were prepared to conceal money laundering. Hearing the arguments from both sides, the bench then adjourned the hearing till Oct 17. The petition has been filed by PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi – seeking disqualification of two PTI leaders; Imran Khan and Jahangir Tareen – over non-disclosure of assets, offshore companies, and tax evasion.

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