ECP adjourns hearing of Toshakhana reference against Imran Khan

ECP directed PTI's lawyer to provide the documents in the reference filed for the disqualification of PTI Chairman Imran Khan for hiding Toshakhana gifts.

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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has adjourned the hearing into disqualification reference against PTI chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan over the Toshakhana gifts scandal till August 22.

According to the details, a 5-member commission headed by the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja heard the reference.

During the hearing, the assistant counsel of Imran Khan’s lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar said he [Zafar] could not appear before due to a busy schedule, so the hearing should be adjourned. He also said that Imran Khan is no longer a member of the National Assembly.

Read more: Toshakhana: The mother of all corruption?

In response, CEC Sikandar Raja said that in the eyes of the ECP, Imran Khan is still an MNA because the National Assembly Secretariat has not approved the resignation yet. To clarify, a member cannot be de-notified unless the NA speaker approves and sends the resignation to the ECP.

Moreover, ECP directed PTI’s lawyer to provide the documents in the reference filed for the disqualification of PTI Chairman Imran Khan for hiding Toshakhana gifts.

Toshakhana scandal

The incumbent government had filed a reference against Imran Khan for not sharing details of Toshakhana gifts and proceeds from their alleged sale.

According to the Toshakhana rules, gifts remain the property of the state unless sold at an open auction. Rules allow officials to retain gifts with a market value of less than Rs10, 000 without paying anything.

However, according to multiple reports, Imran Khan received 58 gifts worth more than Rs. 140 million from the world leaders during his three-and-a-half-year stint. He retained all of them either by paying some amount or even without any payment.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan said that whatever he bought from Toshakhana is on record, and if anyone has evidence regarding corruption, he should come forward.

Read more: Imran Khan’s Toshakhana gifts be made public: IHC

He maintained that he was well within his right to buy those gifts according to law and he in fact changed the rules and made it mandatory for officials to pay at least 50 percent of the value of the gift which was 25 percent in the past.

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