ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) General Secretary, Jahangir Khan Tareen, to file revenue record of 18,566 acres of leased land.

The PTI general secretary directly owns 706 acres land and an additional 18,566 acres of leased land that comprises 86 farms. He has not shown agri-income from the leased land in his tax returns.

Tareen’s counsel Sikandar Bashir during the proceeding submitted affidavits of the leasors, while in the last hearing the chief justice had specifically asked the counsel that they like to see the documents of the Punjab Revenue Department that were “Jamabandi” and “Khasra Gardawari” of the leased land.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, heading a three-judge bench, said the affidavits were not important, unless supported by the documents from the revenue department.

Tareen’s lawyer contended that the affidavits were backed by cross-cheque through which payment was made to the leasors.

The chief justice stated cross-cheques will have no meaning at this point of time, but would be relevant after the revenue record was submitted.

The bench was hearing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi’s petition against the Tareen for having offshore company, writing off loan and giving incorrect information about the agri-income tax in the assets and liabilities statement, filed before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Bashir informed the court that Tareen was an agriculturist since 1978 and before that he was a banker. A producer of high quality sugar-cane, mango, cotton and chilli in the country, he added.

The lawyer further told the court that in 2002 he set up Jamal Din Wali Sugar Mills in Sadiqabad.

The chief justice said that “you have agri-income that you have explained in the income tax return, but did not explain the income from the leased land”.

“There is a difference between the statements submitted before the ECP and the income tax return,” Justice Nisar said.

The court inquired from the counsel what is the proof that 18,566 acres leased lands were in your possession?

The chief justice questioned whether the affidavits were registered with the revenue authorities.

Justice Umar Atta Bandial said there was no revenue record of the leased land.

He further questioned whether the leasors were the owner of the land.

The chief justice asked whether there was any landownership, adding the documents seemed to be doubtful and dubious.

He said “Jamabandi” would show much land was in the possession of the owners, and what crops were cultivated.

Bashir argued that every penny was paid through cheque.

The chief justice remarked that “they don’t want to comment on anything at this stage, which will prejudice your case.”

He directed him to procure the “Khasra Gardawari”.

The counsel said that he would produce all the land documents from the revenue record.

The PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi’s counsel told the court that Tareen had failed to produce those document to the authorities, which had been hearing his land cases for the last four years.

The chief justice said that if need be then they might summon the officials of the revenue department for the verification of the documents.

Bashir replied that the court could verify the documents independently, adding the land record was not found pristine condition.

Tareen’s counsel referred to the Punjab Income Tax Ordinance 1997, and said there was no institution framework for collecting, determining, assessing and recovery in that law.

Upon that Justice Bandial asked him that you want to say that on the basis of Punjab Income Tax Ordinance 1997 whatever land was in your holding you had declared its income in your tax return.

Bashir said his client had been accused of fiddling with the matter, while he had done nothing.

At the outset of the case, Akram Sheikh, counsel of Hanif Abbasi, argued that the case started in November last year and after 10 months the documents were still being filed.

The case was adjourned till Wednesday (today).