ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Federal Board of Revenue to submit what progress the Board has made in regard with foreign assets of Aleema Khanum, sister of Prime Minister Imran Khan, after she was identified as benamidar.

The top court also regretted placing the matter of Pakistanis’ assets stashed abroad in the cold storage.

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 had claimed the Amnesty Scheme 2018 introduced by the previous government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

This month, Khanum 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 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.”

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar resumed the hearing of suo motu case pertaining to foreign assets of Pakistanis without disclosing the same in the country.

During the hearing, Chairman FBR, Member Inland Revenue of FBR Habib Ullah, and Director General (DG) Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Bashir Memon appeared before the bench.

The Chief Justice inquired about the foreign assets’ details of Khanum. The bench was given a simple piece of paper by the Member Inland Revenue which displeased the bench. “Do you term it a report?” asked the Chief Justice grilling the member.

He informed the bench that the file is in Lahore and action has been initiated on the basis of available record.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan, member of the bench, told FBR’s member that this court had directed him to bring the matters in Islamabad for whatever it intends to do.

DG FIA and Chairman FBR both requested the bench for grant of time till Monday to submit the report.

During the hearing, the bench came down hard on FBR for delaying the matters of probing the 20 Pakistanis who have stashed their assets abroad. The list of 20 people was provided by the top court with an understanding that the action against them will apply to others as well.

The Chief Justice observed that it is the matter of Rs3000 billion and the FBR’s member has deliberately frustrated top court’s order. The CJ remarked that the court is suspending him. However, Chairman FBR came to rescue his colleague and apprised the bench that the official has already been transferred as a joint secretary to another department.

The CJ observed that FIA assisted the FBR to the best but FBR has not done anything in this regard and put the matter in cold storage.

“We told you (FBR) to look into the cases of these 20 individuals on priority basis,” the CJ told FBR further questioning what they have done in the past one month since formation of a joint team.

 “The FBR is using delaying tactics," the CJ observed.

The CJ inquired why the chairman defending those people who have taken money from Pakistan to possess properties abroad. “Whether you are servant of this country?” the CJ further asked the chairman of FBR.

Justice Ahsan told the Board’s member that the latter has not understood the orders of this court and now justifying himself.

The CJ remarked that the FBR’s member has no idea as to what to do and his intentions are also questionable.

He told Chairman FBR that the Board’s member is not competent. He expressed dissatisfaction on the report and observed that the top court’s November 1 order has not been complied with in letter and spirit.

The bench also displayed displeasure on the performance of Member Inland Revenue.

After assurance of submitting complete report by DG FIA and Chairman FBR, the matter has been adjourned for the second week of December.