ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said on Wednesday that not a state of mind but conduct of an individual shows dishonesty of a person.

The chief justice made these remarks while hearing a case against PTI General Secretary Jehangir Tareen, when his counsel Sikandar Bashir contended that dishonesty may not be equated to infallibility. He said that dishonesty was a state of mind.

In July 28 judgment former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified on the basis of his conduct as he did not disclose salary which he had drawn as chairman of his son’s company, Justice Saqib observed.

He also noted that Imran Khan too has not disclosed all facts about GBP100,000 leftover money in the Niazi Services Limited account, loan taken from Jemima Khan, and $97,000 flat on the Constitution Avenue.

A three-judge bench headed by the chief justice was hearing a petition filed by PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi, which seeks disqualification of PTI leader Jahangir Tareen.

Justice Saqib told Tareen’s counsel that documentary evidence did not support the income tax on agriculture land of his client.

The court said that some stereotype deeds of 18,000 acre leased land have been filed while “your client derives billion of rupees from the agriculture land”.

The CJP also noted that the trust deed of Tareen’s offshore company, Shiny View Limited, was not filed yet.

Justice Umar Atta Bandial asked the counsel to show whether Tareen’s children and wife were financially independent and filing tax returns.

Justice Faisal Arab inquired if PTI leader’s children were minors when he filed nomination papers for 2013 general elections.

Sikandar told that they were in their 40s and had been filing the tax returns.

The court noted that Tareen’s children gifted him GBP 108 million. Justice Faisal questioned why Tareen, who is a rich man, needed such a huge amount as gift from his children.

Sikandar replied that the children have shares in Jamal Din Wali sugar mills and receive 15 percent from the dividend and out of that they gifted the said amount to Tareen.

Justice Faisal remarked that it was strange that in 2011 the children gifted GBP108 million to Tareen and in the same year Tareen gifted GBP525 million to his children.

The court noted that the gift received from children was not mentioned as income. Sikandar replied that under Income Tax Act gift money received through cross-cheques was exempted.

He said in Panama case the argument that father can receive funds from sons or father can give gift to his children was rejected as in that case the receiving child was a dependent of the Respondent-1 (ex-PM).

Earlier, Sikandar informed that Tareen had remitted money to London for construction of his house in Hyde Lane from 2011 to 2014 through normal channel and it was in the knowledge of the State Bank of Pakistan. Justice Bandial asked him to file the conversion rate of foreign currency which was transferred.

Sikandar told that Tareen purchased the pounds from open market from authorised dealers. All the money Tareen earned and remitted is documented, he said.

Justice Bandial said they were looking at dishonesty as the property belonged to Tareen but he did not declare it in his nomination papers. He said in the Panama case the PTI leaders asked the responded to declare beneficial interest while in this case, Tareen is not disclosing the beneficial interest.

Sikandar replied in that case it was the bearer trust while here it is a discretionary trust. He concluded his arguments and from November 7, Azid Nafees of Hanif Abbasi’s counsel will plead in rebuttal.

Difference between Tareen’s and Panama case

During Wednesday hearing, the chief justice asked from Tareen’s counsel how this case was different from the Panama leaks case against Nawaz Sharif and his family.

Sikandar argued that the Sharif family was unable to disclose details of its assets, and Nawaz Sharif was held dishonest on the basis of inconsistence statements.

The counsel contended that a parliamentarian could be disqualified if there is irrefutable evidence or admission or ex-facie evidence through inquiry.

He argued that under Article 184(3) of Constitution the apex court can regulate its jurisdiction, it has the power to expand the jurisdiction but it has also to see how to interpret it.

Sikandar said in the Panama case Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa in his judgment stated three times that it was very unfortunate that the court repeatedly asked the respondents (Sharif family) to file documents but they did not do so.

He argued that in Tareen’s case they had provided documents and presented arguments.

“No case [has been] made against Tareen, while in constitutional petition of Imran Khan a strong case was made out against the former prime minister,” he added.

He said when the documents were provided by the Sharifs the requests were sent under the Legal Mutual Assistance.

The counsel contended when the respondents could not provide documents to the satisfaction of the court, three judges ordered for constitution of Joint Investigation Team. He said the three judges consistently stated that normally section 12(2) of ROPA is used for disqualification but Nawaz Sharif was de-seated under Article 62(1)(f) of Constitution. He said section 12(2) of ROPA or election laws do not require disclosure of assets.

Sikandar argued that the apex court did not create a new law by forming JIT, which acted as eyes and ears of the court. The JIT is not unique as there is precedent of it in the Khewra Mines and other cases.

He said Justice Khosa in Panama leaks judgment noted that the Respondent No 1 was a three times prime minister and also remained chief minister. He was the ultimate appointing authority and no institution would dare investigate his assets. He said the Sharifs created fairy tales while Tareen provided everything in his defence.

The counsel said inquisitorial proceeding in Tareen case does not warrant. If anyone somehow is able to make out a case of assets-beyond-means against any parliamentarian – without producing any documents in support of their claims – it would open floodgates, he added.

He contended that the court could not disqualify the legislators on the basis of surmises, conjecture and presumptions.

The chief justice asked if he (defence counsel) wanted to say that in the Panama case the respondents created assets beyond known means, was holder of public office for such a long time and was holding such office that no law enforcement agency was willing to take action against them (Sharifs).

Sikandar argued that his client was not holding the office of Prime Minister, adding the case was initiated against Tareen because of political differences. He said that normally the apex court does not enter into the question of facts but under Article 184(3) it can do this to ensure justice.