Imran Khan challenges ECP Toshakhana verdict in IHC

Says ECP lacks jurisdiction to decide about disqualification and corrupt practices: Beseeches court to declare election commission's decision null and void: IHC registrar raises objection to IK's petition saying his attached biometrics not verified: Court rejects PTI’s plea for conducting hearing today

By: News Desk
Published: 12:23 PM, 22 Oct, 2022
Imran Khan challenges ECP Toshakhana verdict in IHC
Caption: File photo.
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Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan has challenged the ECP verdict declaring him disqualified in the Toshakhana reference in the Islamabad High Court on Saturday, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

In his petition, Imran stated that the ECP does not have the jurisdiction to decide about the corrupt practices and disqualification.

The petitioner requested the court to declare the ECP decision null and void. 

However, the IHC registrar raised an objection to the PTI chairman’s petition saying that he did not get verified his biometrics result. 

Court rejects PTI’s plea

Rejecting the request made by Imran Khan to start the hearing of his petition against his disqualification by ECP in the Toshakhana case today, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) said the case’s maiden hearing would now be held on day after tomorrow (Monday, October 24, 2022).

A four-member bench of Election Commission of Pakistan headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja pronounced the unanimous verdict yesterday declaring former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan disqualified in the Toshakhana reference and ordered criminal proceedings against him under Article 63(1)(P).

The written order of the ECP says according to Sections 137, 167, and 173 of the Election Act, Imran Khan has committed the “offence of corrupt practice by making false statements and incorrect declaration”.  

“We are of the considered opinion that the respondent has become disqualified under Article 63(1)(P) of the Constitution read with Sections 137,167 and 173 of the Elections Act, 2017, consequently he ceases to be a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan and his seat has become vacant accordingly,” the order says adding that Imran deliberately concealed the Toshakhana gifts details while declaring his assets. 

The office is directed to initiate legal proceedings and to take follow-up action under Section 190(2) of the Elections Act, 2017.

Article 63 (1) (P) of the Constitution states that an individual is, “for the time being, disqualified from being elected or chosen as a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) or of a provincial assembly under any law for the time being in force”.

The ECP had reserved the verdict in the Toshakhana case on September 19 last.

The reference was filed against the PTI chairman by the coalition government, for "not sharing details" of Toshakhana gifts and proceeds from their alleged sale.

Earlier on Saturday, PTI leaders assailed delay in the release of the ECP’s written ruling in the Toshakhana reference.

“Why is the election commission withholding the written decision? What are they cooking up now,” party leader Asad Umar said on Twitter, a day after the election commission pronounced its verdict against the PTI chief, saying he made “false statements and incorrect declaration”.

Another PTI senior leader Imran Ismail accused the ECP of being a “subservient” organisation to opponents PDM and called the delay in not issuing the written ruling “shameful”.

“Chief election commissioner is waiting for a written decision from London or Bilawal House,” Ismail added.

Reporter Ehtisham Kiyani