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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Sessions court reserves verdict in Toshakhana case

An Islamabad sessions court on Monday reserved verdict on the Toshakhana case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.

Monday, the judgement on a petition submitted by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in the Toshakana case was reserved by a district and sessions court in Islamabad.

Khan was accused of engaging in fraudulent practises by the Election Commission, which the former premier disputes, and the trial court heard his case on November 22.

The trial court in Islamabad issued a notice to the PTI leader in the case that was launched against him in the Toshakhana reference in accordance with the directive of the electoral authority.

Additional Sessions Subsequently The hearing was postponed until December 8, 2022, by Judge Zafar Iqbal.

Imran was disqualified in October after the ECP discovered he had made “false assertions and erroneous declaration” in his election papers.

Imran is being prosecuted under criminal law for allegedly lying to authorities about the gifts he received from foreign dignitaries while serving as prime minister, according to a referral sent to the court by ECP. The commission is asking for a three-year prison sentence as well as a fine.

The Toshakhana was established in 1974 and is a department under the administrative jurisdiction of the Cabinet Division. It houses priceless presents that foreign dignitaries and heads of other governments and states have given to rulers, lawmakers, bureaucrats, and officials.

Gifts/presents and other similar items received by those to whom these rules apply must be reported to the Cabinet Division, per Toshakhana regulations.

Despite the Pakistan Information Commission (PIC) ordering it to do so, the PTI had resisted disclosing information about the gifts sent to Imran since he took office in 2018, claiming that doing so would jeopardise relations with other countries.

Imran later acknowledged, however, that he had sold at least four gifts he had received while prime minister in a written response he provided to the ECP on September 8.

The reference against Imran was submitted to CEC Raja by MNA Barrister Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha with the support of representatives Agha Hassan Baloch, Salahudeen Ayubi, Ali Gohar Khan, Syed Rafiullah Agha, and Saad Waseem Sheikh.

Read More: PTI rejects claims made by Dubai businessman on Imran Khan’s Toshakhana gifts

The ruling alliance’s MNAs requested the ex-premier’s disqualification under Sections 2 and 3 of Article 63 of the Constitution, read with Article 62(1)(f), in their disqualification reference, which included documentary evidence to support their allegations against him.

The case

An application from the journalist Rana Abrar Khalid of Islamabad was accepted by the PIC last year, and the Cabinet Division was instructed to “provide the requested information about the gifts received by [then] prime minister Imran from foreign head of states, head of governments, and other foreign dignitaries… description/specification of each gift, information about the gifts retained by the PM, and the Rules under which gifts thus received are retained by him.”

Within 10 working days, the Cabinet Division was instructed to disclose the necessary data and post it on the corporate website.

The Cabinet Division had subsequently filed a complaint against the PIC ruling before the IHC, asserting that it was “illegal, without lawful power.” The then-government said that any information on Toshakhana should not be made public since it could harm relations with other countries.

The IHC had instructed Deputy Attorney General Arshad Kayani in April of this year to see that the PIC order to make public information on the gifts given to former Prime Minister Imran by heads of state after he took office in August 2018 was carried out.