Wednesday Nov 23 2022

Larger bench to hear plea for removal of Imran Khan as party chair

The picture shows the facade of the Lahore High Court. — LHC website/File
The picture shows the facade of the Lahore High Court. — LHC website/File

  • Petition says Imran Khan not eligible for party chairmanship.
  • Seeks removal form the party chairmanship.
  • Bench to also hear plea against Khan's disqualification in Toshakhana case.

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) Wednesday constituted a full bench to take up the petition to remove Imran Khan from the chairmanship of PTI.

A three-member bench, led by Chief Justice LHC Muhammad Ameer Bhatti with Justice Abid Aziz Shaikh and Justice Muhammad Sajid Mahmood Sethi as members will hear the plea.

It should be noted that Justice Sethi forwarded the case file to the LHC's chief justice along with the recommendation to form a larger bench.

According to details, Justice Mehmood advocated the formation of a larger bench at the request of Advocate Muhammad Afaq.

The federal government, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Khan, and others have been made responders to the petition.

The petition argues that after the ECP’s decision, Khan has become ineligible for the party chairmanship.

“As Khan does not have the privilege to remain PTI chairmanship anymore, the court should order he be removed from the post of party chairman,” the petition said.

Toshakhana case

Meanwhile, the same bench would hear a petition against Imran Khan's disqualification in the Toshakhana case.

The petition launched by Jaber Ali, a citizen, through lawyer Azhar Siddique, seeks to bar the PTI chairman from holding any public office after the ECP’s decision in the Toshakhhana case.

On October 21, the ECP, in a consensus verdict in Toshakana reference, disqualified former prime minister Imran Khan and ruled that the PTI chairman is no more a member of the National Assembly.

Criminal proceedings should be initiated against the PTI chairman for misdeclaration, the verdict said.

The ECP stated that Khan submitted a false affidavit and was found involved in corrupt practices under Article 63(1)(p).

Under the said article, a lawmaker is disqualified for the time being from being elected or chosen as a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) or of a provincial assembly.

"As a sequel to our abovementioned findings, facts available on record and keeping in view the argument of learned counsel for parties herein, we are of the considered opinion that the Respondent has become disqualified under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution read with Section 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 ECP order stated.

"As the respondent has made false statements and incorrect declarations, therefore he has also committed the offence of corrupt practices defined under Sections 167 and 173 of the Elections Act,2017, punishable under Section 174 of the Elections Act, 2017. The office is directed to initiate legal proceedings and to take follow-up action under Section 190(2) of the Elections Act, 2017," the verdict read.