Tuesday Jan 31, 2023
ISLAMABAD: A local court in Islamabad Tuesday decided to indict Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case.
Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal hearing the criminal proceedings against the PTI chief, announced February 7 as the date of the indictment.
The orders were issued by the judge after the PTI chief failed to appear before the court for today’s hearing despite his summoning.
At the outset of the hearing, the judge inquired Khan’s counsel Ali Bukhari about his client’s power of attorney.
However, the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) lawyer contended before the court that power of attorney cannot be submitted till Imran Khan appears in person, and urged the court to issue arrest warrants for the former prime minister.
Meanwhile, Bukhari told the judge that they had submitted the medical certificate of their client in the last hearing. He also added that Barrister Ali Gohar, the senior counsel for the PTI chief, was coming to the court in five minutes.
At this, the court ordered Bukhari to submit the power of attorney by today.
But the ECP’s lawyer once again told the court that Khan’s lawyer cannot submit the power of attorney till they submit surety bonds for ensuring the PTI chief’s presence in court.
The ECP counsel then urged the court to issue arrest warrants for the PTI chief for his failure to appear in court.
However, the court rejected the commission’s request but directed the PTI chief to submit surety bonds of Rs20,000 to ensure his presence in the next hearing.
In November of last year, ECP, in a consensus verdict in Toshakana reference, disqualified the former prime minister and ruled that the PTI chief was no more a member of the National Assembly.
The ECP stated that the PTI chief had submitted a false affidavit and was found involved in corrupt practices under Article 63(1)(p).
In the verdict, ECP also declared that Khan had 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”.
It added that the offence was, punishable under Section 174 of the Elections Act, 2017 and directed legal proceedings and follow-up action under Section 190(2) of the Elections Act.
The ECP had also sent a reference to a trial court to begin criminal proceedings in the case.
On November 22, the trial court took up the Toshakhana reference filed by Election Commission against Khan for allegedly indulging in corrupt practices, which the former premier denies.