ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Federal Board of Revenue to present record of property and tax amnesty details of Aleema Khan, sister of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib will take up the matter of Aleema Khan today at top court’s Lahore registry.

The directions regarding the Khanum’s assets stashed abroad were issued after Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar inquired about her assets during the hearing of the suo moto case regarding foreign assets of Pakistanis stashed abroad without disclosing the same or without paying the tax in Pakistan.

On October 27, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had submitted before the top court the details of close relatives of prominent political personalities who owned properties in the UAE. Aleema Khanum was on the list of FIA. She has claimed the Amnesty Scheme 2018, introduced by the previous government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

This month Aleema Khan deposited half the total cost of her previously undeclared Dubai property with tax authorities as a penalty. She paid 25 per cent of the total estimated amount of her luxurious flat, “The Lofts East-1406”, in taxes and 25 per cent exceptional charges.

In her affidavit submitted with FIA, she stated, “The Lofts East: 1460 was paid for from funds generated from my business dealings overseas. Further, I have already disposed of my property and have also informed the FBR about the purchase and sale of the said property.”

During the course of hearing of the suo motu, the matter regarding Khanum was raised by the Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, who was heading a three-judge bench. The Chief Justice asked FBR’s Member Operations whether Aleema Khan owns any property in UAE and whether she availed Amnesty Scheme 2018.  “Submit the details if she has applied for Amnesty Scheme,” directed Chief Justice.

TO a query, Member Operations informed the bench that Aleema Khan has availed the amnesty scheme.  However, he contended that details of those who availed the scheme cannot be made public under the rules.   The tax record is confidential under the rules, he added.

“Before availing the amnesty scheme, the applicant has to declare the foreign assets,” said Justice Ijazul Ahsan, member of the bench, further asking Member Operations, “why are you telling us this when my lord (chief justice) asked you.”  “What confidentiality,” asked the CJ, adding “if this is your property that you claim confidentiality?”

Submit before us the details in sealed envelope and we will examine it, said chief justice further directing to bring the file within 30 minutes.  When the hearing commenced, the bench was informed that the committee in compliance with the top court’s previous orders examined the cases of 20 individuals.

According to the list of 20 individuals, Waqar Ahmad owns 22 properties, CEO Std. Securities (Pvt) Limited Maushad Chamdia owns 12 properties, Muhammad Amin 12 properties, Zubair Mueen owns 9 properties, Sheikh Tahir and Majid Kapur jointly own 8 properties, Islam Salim owns 8 properties, Agha Faisal owns 7 properties, Syed Muhammad Ali owns 6 properties.

According to the same list, Nayyar Sheikh owns 4, Muhammad Ramzan owns 2, Saeed Minhas owns 2, Imtiaz Anwar owns 2, Abdul Aziz Rajkotwala owns 6, Naureen Sami owns 3, Hamayun Bashir owns 2, Shujar-ur-Rehman Goraya owns 2, Sardar Mumtaz Khan owns 5, Sardar Dildar Ahmad Cheema owns 2 and Faisal Hussain owns 4 properties abroad.

Member Operations informed that out of these 20 persons, 4 individuals have been verified to the extent of their declared Dubai properties vis-à-vis properties mentioned in FIA source documents while 2 individuals neither put appearance nor provided details.  “Inconsistencies and discrepancies were found in cases of 14 individuals,” he added and these 14 individual’s cases have been recommended for further probe wherein the process of audit has been initiated. Justice Ahsan lamented that it’s been a month and probe into 20 individuals have not been completed.  The CJ remarked that this court requires results in the case.

“We asked you to look into cases of these 20 individuals and you issues notice to entire Pakistan,” said Chief Justice while expressing anger adding that there is no focus on the properties the court has asked for.  “What is definition of discrepancies in your view,” the CJ asked Member Operations.

FBR’s Member Operations said that the variations have been found in the documents provided by these 14 individuals while notices have been issued to them and proceedings initiated in accordance with the law to provide them opportunity.  Likewise, Member Operations gave instance of an individual namely Waqar.

He said that according to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Waqar Ahmed owns properties abroad which have not been reflected in record of FBR.

When Waqar was asked by the FBR, he said his properties were confiscated on account of default the loan abroad.  Waqar also showed Rs. 1 billion in amnesty scheme but concealment unearthed when we checked his past record, said Member Operations adding the proceedings against him has been started.

Chief justice sarcastically told the Member Operations, “You are Member Inland Revenue and you don’t know the basics of attachment of property.”

Counsel for Waqar appeared and said that FBR has not granted time for reply.  Chief Justice observed that the matter of Waqar will be taken up today, at Lahore Registry along with the matter of Khanum.

Chief Justice appreciated the efforts of FIA and observed that FIA has done an exhaustive exercise but FBR delaying the matter in its own way.

Member Operations, however, committed that these 14 cases will be decided till December. After the break, the bench resumed the hearing for Khanum’s matter. “We asked for the foreign assets record of Khanum,” asked chief justice.  Representative of FBR informed the bench that they have summoned the file from Lahore. Chief justice said if the file is in Lahore then submit it in Lahore Registry where the Court will take up the matter.