Tareen disqualification case: SC says leased land is still taxable

Lester Mason
October 12, 2017

The Supreme Court has adjourned hearing of the disqualification case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen till Tuesday, Oct 17.

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 a sole responsibility of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the petitioner intends to waste the court's time.

The chief justice was presiding over a three-member SC bench, comprising Justice Umar Atta Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab, which was hearing a petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi.

As per the requirement of the ECP, his client had declared the income in his nomination papers, which he earned from his own agriculture land, Sikandar submitted.

'Honesty will be proved when the relevant forum will declare verdict against Tareen. However, he contested that the election forms do not contain a column for leased land.

Resuming the hearing of landmark case that would define the future of affluent PTI leader, the chief justice observed that though the agriculture land in question was on the lease, the earnings received from it would qualify as assets and thus had to be shown in the required documents. He added that Tareen did not mention his complete assets in the election forms.

The Chief Justice expressed dissatisfaction over the argument that the owner can not pay tax over leased land.

"Will Jahangir Tareen be disqualified for not knowing the definition of landholding?" the lawyer asked.

"We are not concerned about tax", the chief justice said.

The court told Mohmand that they are conducting disqualification proceedings at the core of which is the issue of misdeclarations in election nomination forms.

Tareen's lawyer maintained that his client can not be disqualified in this situation as he had not lied anywhere.

Tareen's counsel also argued that the ongoing case will have an effect on a reference underway in the Lahore High Court against his client.

Defense lawyer Sikandar Bashir presented Tareen's written statement in the court.

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.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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