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Imran denied owning any company in nomination papers of 2013 polls

ISLAMABAD, 15 MAY (DNA) –   Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan never declared his Channel Island ‘Be-Naami’ offshore company Niazi Services Limited in his nomination papers submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) while giving a declaration on oath in the nomination papers for the 2013 elections and even stated in categorical terms that neither he nor any member of his family owned any company.

However, official documents of Jersey Financial Services Commission, the Channel Islands, show that Niazi Services Limited remained operational till October 2015. Top legal and constitutional experts say that Imran Khan may face disqualification on count of making a wrong declaration on oath.

In addition to providing complete details of assets, properties, investments and shares on prescribed forms in his nomination papers, a candidate has to make certain declarations on oath that he/she has belief in the absolute and unqualified finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad (SAW), faithfulness in Quaid-i-Azam’s declaration that Pakistan will be a democratic state, no loan default or write-off or default of utility bills and that he she or his her family and dependents do not own any company except … (details to be provided if one owns any.

The relevant clause of nomination papers reads; “Neither I nor my spouse(s) nor any of my dependents mainly owns any company except the following:”

On page-3 of his 2013 nomination papers to contest elections from NA-56 Rawalpindi, the PTI chief declared on oath to this clause as “NIL”. Whereas now the PTI chief has admitted owning a ‘Benaami’ offshore company in the Channel Islands, Niazi Services Limited.

 Official documents of the Jersey Financial Services Commission (Companies Registry) show that Niazi Services Limited remained operational till October 1, 2015. Thus even if he hasn’t declared it in his assets statement for any reason, while making a declaration on oath, the PTI chief was bound to admit owning this company but he didn’t.

Former chief justice of Pakistan Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui while talking to The News said that the PTI chief was bound to declare his offshore company in his assets as well as make a correct declaration on oath and by not doing so he had concealed facts

“If it is proved that his company remained operational till 2015 and he has made a wrong declaration and concealed facts, he will face disqualification. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) can move against it on its own and it is ECP’s constitutional duty,” Siddiqui said adding, “There is no need to file any petition and the ECP could act by taking suo moto action”. He added that an appeal could be filed against the ECP’s decision before the Supreme Court.

Senior legal expert Ikraam Chaudhry told The News if the company had become dormant and it could be proved, Imran might not have to face disqualification.

“The case will become on a point to determine intention of PTI chief Imran Khan and if it is proved that the company was really dormant after selling of a flat in 2003, he can save himself from disqualification,” Ikraam said. Ikraam said that he was bound to declare it in his returns and wealth statements submitted with the FBR.

“He should have also declared it in his nomination papers but if he hadn’t he could still avoid disqualification by proving before the ECP or a court of law that the company remained dormant after selling of his flat,” Ikraam added. Senior legal and constitutional expert Shahid Jami was of the opinion that the PTI chief was bound to declare his company in any case.

“Even when a company is not operational, the paid-up capital of the company is an asset of the owner of the company and thus he is bound to declare the company and the share while declaring his investments and paid-up capital as his assets,” Jami said and added, “If any official document proves that the company remained operational till late 2015 and the PTI chief had not declared it in his 2013 nomination forms and had given a wrong declaration, he may really face a case of disqualification under the election laws.”

“In his response to the questions about not declaring the ‘Benaami’ offshore company in the asset statements of Imran Khan, Naeemul Haq, spokesman for the PTI chief, said that the company had been dormant for a long timeDNA

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