Tuesday, December 13, 2022
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Tuesday informed the Islamabad High Court (IHC) about initiating the proceedings of removing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan from the party’s leadership after his disqualification in the Toshakhana reference.
The ECP, during the hearing of Khan’s petition against his disqualification in the Toshakhana reference by the electoral body, also informed the IHC that the district and sessions court in Islamabad had reserved the verdict on a plea filed by the ECP in the same case against Khan for allegedly indulging in corrupt practices, which the former premier denies.
A day earlier, it was learnt that the court will announce its verdict on December 15 at 2pm. The Toshakhana reference case was taken up by the trial court on November 22.
IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, while hearing the petition, remarked to take a decision on the application after listening to everyone in two to three weeks.
Khan’s counsel Barrister Ali Zafar, while presenting his arguments, said that the ECP is not a court of law in light of several verdicts issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Therefore, it has no authority to disqualify any member of the National Assembly.
“In this case, the ECP took recourse to the Faisal Vawda case and issued a declaration,” Zafar said maintaining that the PTI chief took the gifts after a 20% payment and provided a copy of its challan.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Mohsin Shahnwaz Ranjha’s lawyer sought a week’s time to present his arguments.
The court adjourned further hearings on the petition till December 20.
Earlier this month, the apex court ruled that the ECP has no jurisdiction under the Constitution to decide upon the pre-election disqualification of a lawmaker when issuing the verdict in Vawda’s disqualification case revoking the lifetime ban on him which barred him from contesting in elections.