IHC adjourns Imran Khan’s plea against Toshakhana conviction till Friday 


ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday adjourned hearing on a petition filed by PTI Chairman against his conviction and three-year sentence in the Toshakhana case till tomorrow (Friday).

A two-member bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri hear the appeals against the trial court’s August 5 verdict wherein it found him guilty of misdeclaration and awarded him three-year jail term. 

Advocates Salman Akram Raja, Latif Khosa, Babar Awan, Sher Afzal Marwat, Shoaib Shaheen, Barrister Ali Zafar and Barrister Ali Gohar represented Imran Khan in the case as Khawaja Harris, one of the key PTI lawyers quit the legal team over some differences. 

Barrister Amjad Pervaiz represented the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) before the IHC in the hearing. 

At the outset of the hearing today, Imran’s counsel Latif Khosa said there were three grounds pertaining to the suspension of the sentence handed down to his client. 

He said one is the short period of sentence and another is the jurisdiction of the trial court. He contended the trial court lacked the jurisdiction hear conduct hearing on ECP’s appeal seeking criminal proceedings against the PTI chief. 

He said the court should decide the matter related to jurisdiction first before announcing the verdict. 

He then highlighted that the body of ECP comprises the chief election commissioner and its members, adding that the electoral body has the right to ask any of its employee to lodge a complaint. 

In the Toshakhana case, the order for filing a complaint against Imran Khan was issued by the ECP secretary, who is not an employee of the election commission. He further said the petition against his client was submitted beyond the stipulated period of 120 days. 

Khosa argued that the trial court also ignored the orders of the high court. At one point, he said: “With all due respect you [IHC] didn’t even bar the trial court from announcing a final decision,” adding that a high court, which is hearing the case, could stop the lower court from giving the final verdict.

At one point, Justice Jahangiri asked: “On what grounds did the trial court disregard the list of witnesses submitted by the PTI chief?”

Khosa replied that the court thought the witnesses were not relevant in the case. 

During the hearing, the ECP lawyer requested the court to not fix the next hearing for tomorrow. However, Justice Farooq rejected his plea and adjourned the case till Friday 11am. 

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court also adjourned hearing on appeals of the PTI chief till the order of the IHC in the case. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *