IHC to announce reserved verdict on Imran Khan’s plea against Toshakhana conviction at 11am tomorrow
ECP objects to not making state party to Toshakhana case: CJ says ECP, not state, complainant against PTI chief
By News Desk
August 28, 2023 09:56 AM
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has reserved its verdict on the appeal filed by former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan, seeking suspension of his sentence in the Toshakhana reference by a sessions court, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Monday.
Opposing former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s appeal, seeking suspension of his sentence in the Toshakhana case by a trial court, Advocate Amjad Pervaiz, counsel for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), said on Monday that a public prosecutor should also have been issued a notice.
During the hearing of the appeal in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), he cited different laws and court decisions in support of his argument.
A two-member bench of the IHC, comprising Chief Justice (CJ) Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, heard the case.
The CJ remarked that it was the ECP, and not the state, that had filed a petition against Imran. “You did not state this during the case’s hearing in the trial court,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi case cited
ECP’s lawyer, on the occasion, cited a relevant decision given by a court in India.
He said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had been sentenced to two years in prison on a private complaint. “Rahul appealed the decision, which was rejected by the court, saying suspension of a sentence was not a ‘hard and fast rule’,” he said, and added, “Truth of the matter is that the state has not been made a respondent in PTI chief’s petition.”
CJ Farooq remarked that it was the ECP’s private complaint against the former prime minister. “When there was no reference to the state during the hearing in the trial court, then why should it be mentioned now?” he questioned.
The chief justice went on to say that a complainant was never made a party in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases.
Advocate Pervaiz said that a prosecutor had been defined in the NAB laws. “The state has nothing to do with the NAB case; it is the bureau’s own prosecutor who is listened to,” the lawyer said, adding, “An order by a court without listening to arguments by the NAB is unthinkable.”
He said that it was the CrPC that shed light on ‘Public Prosecutor’.
ECP’s lawyer requested the court to issue a notice to the government. “I have already given references of 14 court verdicts,” he added.
He further said that even the appellant had not objected to a trial by a sessions court. “Their contention is that it is the sessions court, which has to hear the case. But the complaint should first go to a magistrate,” Advocate Pervaiz told the court.
He went on to say that it was being alleged by the PTI that its chairman had not been granted the right to defence in the case. “I was the one who had said during trial in the sessions court that the defendant should be given that right,” he added.
The lawyer said that the court, in its verdict, had said that Imran had been found involved in ‘corrupt practices’, and that action should be taken against him.
“I will say nothing new in the case,” Advocate Pervaiz said, and regretted that the PTI had bent upon projecting the ECP and judge Humayun Dilawar as ‘villains’.
The CJ cut him short and asked him to better concentrate on the case on hand.
ECP’s lawyer said it was unfortunate that a propaganda had been unleashed that the trial court judge had violated the IHC’s order. “I will tell you that the judge had committed no violation,” he added.
It is worth-reminding here that a trial court in Islamabad had on August 5 sentenced PTI chairman to three years in prison for concealing details of the gifts he had received from foreign dignitaries.
Following which Imran approached the IHC for suspension of the court’s verdict.
Reporters: Kifayat Ali Shah, Farzana Siddique and Rozeena Ali