The acceptance of former law minister Babar Awan’s nomination papers for Senate election has been challenged by Advocate Shahid Javed. In a written petition filed before the Lahore High Court (LHC), the papers, filed to compete for a senate seat from Punjab, were challenged on six different grounds.
The grounds for challenging the decision include: making a mockery of the judiciary under his currently pending contempt of court case, defaulting on agriculture income tax, holding a fake PhD degree, accumulation of assets beyond means, illegal registration of vote in Rawalpindi, and deriving pecuniary benefits from the government by rendering services in court cases.
The advocate also provided a chart of Awan’s income, which compares the increase in the net worth of his assets from 2006 to 2011. The chart was published by Transparency International Pakistan on its website earlier.
The figure in 2011 is alarmingly over seven times that of 2006. This accounts for the increase in the net worth of existing assets, as well as the acquisition of new ones during the period.
The chart shows that the value of immovable property including houses and plots acquired after 2006 was worth around Rs70 million in 2011. This does not include the newly acquired agriculture property, which in 2011 was worth over Rs60.6 million.
However, these figures mean little unless the value of Awan’s movable assets are scrutinised. The total value of his and his wife’s bank accounts combined, vehicles in private use, and investment plans added up to just Rs15.7 million in 2006, in 2001 the amount stood at Rs127.5 million; the difference: Rs111.8m.
The total net worth of all of Awan’s assets in 2006 was Rs46.3 million, while in 2011 it soared to Rs328.7 million. This suggests an increase of Rs282.3 million in his assets during the five years of his last tenure.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 21st, 2012.
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