The Supreme Court announced on Friday rejected Hanif Abbasi's petition for Imran Khan's disqualification, rejecting Hanif Abbasi's petition against the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief. The court, however, disqualified Jahangir Tareen under Article 62 of the Constitution.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said that Khan was not liable to declare Niazi Services Ltd in his 2013 nomination papers as he was not a shareholder, adding that he submitted all the information asked of him.
The CJ said the delay in the verdict, which was supposed to be announced at 2am, was due to a mistake on one page. "We had to go through the entire 250-page document," he explained, apologizing for the delay.
He asked that the verdict be heard with patience.
The Supreme Court sent the foreign funding case to the Election Commission of Pakistan to consider. It is the responsibility of the ECP to look at the foreign funding case in detail Justice Nisar said.
The SC on Friday announced the highly anticipated judgement on a petition filed by PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi, who seeks the disqualification of PTI chief Imran Khan and secretary general Jahangir Khan Tareen on charges they did not fully disclose their assets in nomination papers.
The verdict was announced in Courtroom No. 1 by a three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Nisar, Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab. Petitioner Abbasi as well as other members of PML-N including Talal Chaudhry and Maryam Aurungzeb are present in the court.
Neither Imran Khan currently in Karachi nor Tareen are in attendance.
PTI members and supporters have gathered outside the court to show solidarity with their party leaders.
Strict security arrangements have been for today's verdict. At least 900 security officers have been stationed outside the court, while 300 more officers are deployed inside.
Courtroom No. 1 was last in the limelight when a five-judge SC bench comprising Justices Asif Saeed Khosa, Gulzar Ahmed, Ejaz Afzal Khan, Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Ijaz-ul-Ahsan disqualified Nawaz Sharif as prime minister in the Panama Papers case on July 28.
He informed the bench further that Senator Ishaq Dar, on whose 'confession' NAB initiated the reference in 2000, submitted an apology in court.
Justice Isa remarked that the statement on which the case is based has not been attached to the documents by NAB.
Similarly, Justice Alam observed that if Dar’s statement is taken out of the case, then his status will be that of an accused, adding that he [Dar] has not been made a respondent in the case.
"We are hearing the [Hudaibiya] appeal and not [the Hudaibiya] reference," observed Justice Alam, and directed NAB to satisfy the court on its delay in filing the appeal.
Justice Isa observed that the case went on for years and the charges were not framed.
The NAB counsel also informed the bench regarding the procedure of its chairman’s appointment as well.
The NAB counsel then wrapped up his arguments and asked the court to issue notices to the respondents and allow reinvestigation of the case by quashing the LHC decision.
The court then went into a recess and announced its decision after a short while.
The one-line order was read out by Justice Alam and a detailed order will follow soon.
Hudaibiya Paper Mills case
The Hudaibiya Paper Mills was allegedly used as a cover by the Sharif family to launder money outside the country in the 1990s.
It was in relation to this case that the Sharif family's trusted aide, Ishaq Dar, recorded a confessional statement on April 25, 2000 in front of a magistrate in Lahore accepting his role in laundering money.
On the basis of that confession, a reference was filed by the NAB in 2000 before an accountability court against the Hudabiya Paper Mills, three Sharif brothers, Dar and others.
Dar was not charged as he had become an approver for the prosecution.
That reference was struck down by a referee judge of the LHC on March 11, 2014 in response to a writ petition filed in 2011 stating that Dar's confession was coerced.
Dar had claimed that he had made the 'confession' under duress and disowned the statement.