IHC rejects Imran Khan’s request to immediately dismiss ECP order
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) denied Imran Khan’s appeal to immediately postpone the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) judgment in the Toshakhana matter on Monday.
On Friday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) disqualified the former prime minister in the Toshakhana issue, claiming he had engaged in corrupt activities by making “false declarations and filing the inaccurate declaration.”
The chairman of the PTI then contacted the IHC to protest the ruling. The registrar, however, had voiced objections to the petition.
Today, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the case and at the opening of the hearing, he inquired about the petition’s concerns.
Barrister Ali Zafar, Khan’s attorney, advised him that one issue was biometric verification and that a certified copy of the ECP’s ruling was missing from the petition.
Regarding the second problem, Zafar informed the court that the ECP has not yet issued a comprehensive judgement, adding that the court has received only two pages of the ruling.
At this moment, IHC CJ inquired, “What is the hurry in this case?”
Zafar informed the court that his client must run for election in the coming days, and that the ECP has also ordered that the PTI head be punished for corrupt actions.
Zafar stated, “The Election Commission has also ordered that the issue be sent to trial.”
However, Justice Minallah noted that the commission has simply instructed that the matter be forwarded for trial.
Zafar told the court that disqualification constituted a “stigma” that may damage next elections.
“Which order should the court suspend if there is no judgement?” the judge inquired. He also ordered the attorney to answer the issues brought by the registrar’s office.
People’s thoughts will be impacted by disqualification. “The brief order is appended to the petition,” stated Zafar.
The IHC CJ then questioned Khan’s attorney if he has a certified copy of the brief order. The attorney informed the court, however, that a certified copy had been requested.
The court said, “This disqualification only applies as a National Assembly member.”
Zafar said, however, that the public was unaware of the issue. He further stated that ECP put their brief order to its website, but did not give them with a certified copy.
The judge stated, “We will rehear the case if you are not supplied a copy within three days.” In addition, he disclosed that his court occasionally issued brief instructions and afterwards issued a comprehensive decision.
“I anticipate you will receive the certified copy within three days,” the IHC CJ stated.
However, Khan’s attorney argued that his client is required to run for office.
At this point, Justice Athar Minallah stated that, according to the law, Imran Khan was only disqualified from the seat he currently held. If he desires to run for office again, he is free to do so, he said.
Then, Zafar informed the court that the media had gotten copies of the order and that programme on the subject had aired, adding that the ECP had not objected to the broadcasts.
“We recommend that you seek the ECP to grant the order,” Zafar stated.
The judge informed him that the court would not make such an order to establish a precedent. He stated that the problem was that the petitioner had not received a certified copy of the verdict.
“How can we suspend a decision in the absence of a certified copy? “Can you please explain the urgency in this matter?” IHC CJ asked. Additionally, he indicated that Imran Khan will not be attending Parliament.
“We will observe, but we will not issue directives,” stated Justice Minallah.
However, Zafar said that the PTI is concerned that the Election Commission’s judgement may be reversed.
The judge explained to the attorney that the ECP is a constitutional body. In addition, he stated that disqualifications have occurred in the past and that there was no political uproar.
The judge denied Khan’s motion to halt the ECP ruling and sustained the objections of the registrar. Additionally, Khan was given three days to respond to the petition’s objections.
Chairman of PTI’s appeal
On Saturday, the PTI chairman cited the ECP secretary, the speaker of the National Assembly, and the secretary as respondents in his application.
IHC denied Khan’s request to have the case heard on the same day he filed the lawsuit.
The petition stated that according to a memorandum from the office, presents valued at less than Rs30,000 could be received for free, while items worth more than Rs30,000 could be obtained for 50% of their value.
Before the PTI came to office, presents of Rs30,000 could be bought for 20% of their value, but former prime minister Imran Khan received 14 gifts between 2018 and 2021 for 20% and 50% of their value.
According to the Election Act, members of Parliament are required to provide information about their accessible assets to the ECP by the 30th of June. However, if they sell an asset before to this date, they are exempt from providing information about it.
However, it is required that they report information regarding assets sold. Each year, the petitioner provided the ECP with a valuation of his assets.