ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar on Wednesday observed that under Article 184(3) of the Constitution cases have to be decided on the admitted facts.

Hearing Hanif Abbasi’s petition against Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf for receiving funds from the ‘prohibited’ sources, the chief justice asked PML-N counsel Akram Sheikh whether he has any evidence to prove that the PTI has received funds from the prohibited sources. “The admission should be clear and unequivocal in term of Article 30 of Qanoon-e-Shahdat,” the CJP added.

Akram Sheikh, representing the PML-N leader, replied that they don’t know what is the clear admission when the respondent (PTI) is itself accepting that it received money from foreign citizens. Justice Faisal Arab asked whether Imran Khan’s sons could also not give funds to the party. The counsel instead of giving answer to the query said that Jemima Khan, former wife of Imran Khan, is not a Pakistani.

The chief justice asked on what basis they declare the certificate of Imran Khan submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan is false and the Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution is applicable. He, however, said Imran Khan would have to explain that his party did not receive funds from foreign nationals.

Akram Sheikh urged the court to maintain its neutrality as it has to protect the principle of equity, equality and justice. The chief justice said that the court realised its responsibility and therefore they are asking questions for understanding of the case.

The court observed that the PPO did not envisage disqualification corresponding to Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution. The court asked the counsel to show how much amount received by the PTI from the prohibited sources. It is noted that Foreign Agency Registration Act website contains information about amount which was transferred to PTI Pakistan but the website does not mention how much money collected from the prohibited sources.

The chief justice observed that the PTI USA collected funds and did not send money raised through prohibited sources. He said the PTI chairman has given a certificate that the party has not received funds from the prohibited sources then how it could be established that Imran Khan has made a false declaration.

Akram Sheikh said if the apex court wants to constitute the Election Commission of Pakistan as the inquiry commission or Joint Investigation Team to probe the PTI funding issue then it should collect information about funds collected from all the prohibited sources.

The chief justice said they could not investigate about the individuals as they have the FARA document, in which the amount of individual is not mentioned.

The chief justice noted that the confiscation of funds is the one aspect but the ECP can also determine the funds from prohibited sources. He said that Imran Khan should be disqualified on the basis of false certificate before the ECP. He said they cannot refer the matter under the Article 15 of PPO.

The bench noted that the PTI in its earlier application has stated that Imran Khan paid the entire sale price of the UK flat but contradicted their position in another application that the PTI chairman paid the initial amount, while rest of the money for the flat was made through mortgage.

Akram Sheikh said the Niazi Services Limited (NSL) got incorporated by Imran Khan on 10.5.1983 and dissolved on 01.10.2015. The company owned the London apartment which was sold at GBP 690,207.79 on 14.02-2003. Out of total amount GBP 562,415.54 returned to Jemima Khan, which was barrowed by Imran Khan from her while GBP 127,892.25 remained with the NSL.

The court noted that Imran Khan was the beneficial owner of the company but he was neither its shareholder or held the management.

After the sale of London apartment, the NSL became the Shell Company but it was kept alive for 10 years without any asset but Imran Khan paid its liability GBP 6000 annually. He said the NSL was incorporated for the benefit of Imran Khan to hold the title to the London apartment.

He contended that Imran Khan was required to disclose the company in his wealth statement under the Income Tax Laws as well as Wealth Tax Act, 1963, and he was also obliged to declare his beneficial ownership of the London apartment. Imran Khan has been resident taxpayer since 1981-82.

He claimed that Imran Khan availed Tax Amnesty Scheme 2000 and under that declared the London apartment. Akram Sheikh contended that the London apartment did not directly belong to Imran Khan in his status as an Assessee who could avail the benefit of the scheme. The benefit of the scheme was not available to the NSL while the London apartment itself was registered in the name of NSL.

Imran Khan got the benefit of scheme by making a false declaration regarding recorded title to the property. He said the PTI chief had been directed by the apex court to provide copies of all Income Tax and Wealth Tax returns so it could examine these returns but he did not file the statement of account.

He said the court had ordered to submit the passport but it was not deposited so far.

The case is adjourned until Thursday.