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Lawyer asks for details of loans obtained, written off by LHC CJ

Lawyer asks for details of loans obtained, written off by LHC CJ

ISLAMABAD: A Rawalpindi based lawyer on Monday filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking details of the loans that the incumbent chief justice of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Justice Mansoor Ali Shah has obtained for his textile mills and those he has gotten written off.

Advocate Anwar Dar also requested the court to direct the departments concerned to provide a detailed money trail regarding Justice Shah’s properties in Dubai.

The petition was filed at a time when lawyers’ bodies announced a protest against the LHC CJ to express solidarity with the president of the Multan Bar Association for whom Justice Shah issued arrest warrants on Monday. The lawyers reportedly resorted to violence and tried to take the law into their own hands.

The IHC Bar Association has also given call for a strike on Aug 22 in protest against the police’s crackdown against lawyers on LHC premises.

The Rawalpindi-based lawyer has petitioned for relevant authorities to provide money trail for Justice Shah’s properties in Dubai as well

In his petition, Mr Dar has requested the court that he needs this information to supplement his reference filed under Article 209 of the Constitution against Justice Shah at the Supreme Judicial Council.

The petitioner has alleged that by exercising his influence in the Punjab government, Justice Shah has improperly and immorally obtained a Mercedes Benze 400 SE 2017 for personal and family use and that the car costs not less than Rs40 million.

The petitioner has asked why Justice Shah obtained medical assistance for the treatment of his child abroad from the Punjab government when he is a rich man.

Mr Dar has cited the finance ministry secretary, chairman Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and secretary Pakistan Bar Council as respondents.

Mr Dar had filed an identical petition earlier which was dismissed on July 14 by Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb of the IHC, sustaining office objections by the IHC registrar.

The petitioner has said he got to know from a news report that other than politicians and retired generals, LHC Justice Shah also got loans worth Rs506.694 million written off as managing director Mansoor Textile Mills and Aaj Textiles during 2004.

He has said he obtained from Senate a list submitted by the finance ministry which says Mr Shah wrote off the loans when he was looking after his family business. The petitioner contended that the LHC CJ through a press release announced he had properties in Lahore, Islamabad and Dubai and that the CJ has not declared the money trail for the purchase of the properties in Dubai.

The petitioner requested the court to issue directions to secretary ministry of finance and governor SBP to provide information regarding details of all the loans obtained and written off by Justice Shah and to direct SECP to provide information regarding the period during which Justice Shah remained director and beneficiary of the above said mills.

The petitioner has requested the court to direct the FBR chairman and SBP governor to provide a complete money trail of when money was transferred from Pakistan to Dubai for the purchase of property and if that money is reflected in the income tax returns. He has asked for details of Mr Shah’s income tax returns for the period between 1985 and 2010 as well.

A press release issued by the LHC on July 14 said that Justice Shah’s father issued his shares in the textile mills to Mr Shah’s name and appointed him director in 1984 when he was a student. The mills were auctioned in 1988 through an LHC order. The press release said that being a judge Justice Shah never held a post of any company and never obtained any loan.

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2017

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