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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court is all set to announce Friday (today) the much-awaited verdict on the petitions filed by PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi seeking disqualification of PTI chief Imran Khan and secretary general Jehangir Tareen for not disclosing their assets and ownership of the offshore companies.
Headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar a three-judge bench had earlier on November 14 reserved the verdict after hearing arguments of the counsels of the parties concerned.
The bench that also comprised of Justice Umer Ata Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab is going to announce the verdict at 2:00 pm today, deciding the political fate of the PTI chief and its general secretary.
The opposition PTI and the ruling PML-N have been keenly waiting for the judgment for weeks because it has attained immense significance in the backdrop of the disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers case.
Advocate Naeem Bukhari, the counsel for Imran Khan, had said in his concluding arguments that his client’s case was different from that of Panama Papers as there was no question of money going out of the country, but the PTI chief could not manage his accounts properly.
He argued Abbasi alleged in his petition that Khan did not disclose his assets in the nomination papers for the 2002 election, but no one raised any objection in this regard at the time of submission of the papers.
What’s the use of raising this objection after the passage of more than a decade, he asked and added that a returning officer had approved Khan’s nomination papers at that time.
The petitioner’s counsel, on the other hand, contended that the respondent changed his stance on more than 18 occasions and Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had given observation about Nawaz Sharif shifting stance twice in the Panama Papers case and eventually disqualified him.
How did the case begin?
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s leader Hanif Abbasi had filed a petition in the apex court in May this year, seeking disqualification of PTI chairman Imran Khan and another party leader Jahangir Tareen for tax evasion and concealing income sources.
Petitioner Hanif Abbasi had alleged PTI chairman Imran Khan has been impeding ongoing development projects being part of an international conspiracy against Pakistan, which he believed had gained momentum in current tenure of the ruling party.
Abbasi had submitted the case details to substantiate his party’s claims that Imran Khan had received funds from the sources prohibited under the law.
The financial records submitted by Abbasi included details with regard to sale of Imran’s London apartment in 2004. Moreover, the documents did not have any mention of loan taken from Imran’s ex-spouse Jemima Goldsmith in connection with purchase of PTI chief’s Bani Gala residence.