Zardari lets off man probed for 1.1 bn tax evasion

By: admin
Updated: 23 Jul 2013 11:24 PM

Islamabad: Pakistan President Asif
Ali Zardari has given a property magnate a clean chit in a suspected tax
evasion of Rs.119.4 billion (over $1.185 bn) while dismissing the report
submitted by a Supreme Court-constituted investigating commission in the
Arsalan Iftikhar case, the Dawn reported.

A Suddle Commission had
been formed by the Supreme Court to probe an alleged Rs.342 million
business deal between property magnate Malik Riaz Hussain and Arsalan
Iftikhar, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

commission had indicted Hussain in a colossal tax evasion that amounted to
Rs.119.4 billion, and proposed in its interim report that a penalty for
concealment of assets in wealth statements filed with income tax returns
be enforced on the property tycoon.

Accepting Hussain’s
representation, President Zardari dismissed the much questioned Dec 4,
2012 decision made by the federal tax ombudsman (FTO), the daily reported
citing reports containing references to official Presidency documents.

documents also stated that a joint representation questioning a suo motu
order passed by the FTO had been filed by Hussain and the principal
officer of Bahria Town (Pvt.) Ltd.

This was concurrently
corroborated by the presidential order, which suggested that the
representation had indeed been filed.

The notice and the
representation explained that the suo motu case concerning an alleged
business deal between Hussain and Arsalan Iftikhar - an attempt to
influence the judicial process - was disposed of by the Supreme Court June
14, 2012.

The attorney general of Pakistan was subsequently
directed to set the state machinery in motion in order to ensure that
“all those who may have committed any illegal acts, including Malik
Riaz, Dr Arsalan Iftikhar and Salman Ali Khan, are pursued and brought to
book with full force and rigour of the law”.