IHC reserves verdict on Imran petitions in gifts case

Decision likely to be announced today

ISLAMABAD  -  The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday reserved its verdict in different petitions of PTI chief Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case.

A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Aamer Farooq con­ducted hearing of Im­ran’s petitions chal­lenging admissibility of the Toshakhana case, transfer of case to an­other judge and chal­lenging the jurisdiction of the trial court and reserved the verdict af­ter hearing the argu­ments. It is likely that the IHC bench will an­nounce this reserved verdict today. Earlier, Khan filed another petition challenging the additional district and ses­sions court’s order of abolish­ing his right of defense in the Toshakhana case. Imran moved the IHC against the order, re­questing it to declare the trial court’s order null and void and restoring his right of defense. A day earlier, the trial court - hearing the Election Commis­sion of Pakistan’s plea against the Chairman PTI for “deliber­ately concealing” the gifts he retained from the Toshakhana during his tenure as the PM - in Islamabad had rejected the wit­ness list presented by the PTI chief, terming the witnesses ir­relevant to the case.

During the hearing, Khan’s lawyer Khawaja Haris informed the court that the trial court cannot give a final decision un­til a decision is taken on the re­quest to transfer the case to an­other court. He added that they have submitted the list of wit­nesses to the court and said that the witnesses could not be avail­able in 24 hours. He further said that not even a single day was given to present the witness.

Commenting on the matter related to an alleged Facebook post of judge Humyoun Dilawar against the PTI chief, IHC Chief Justice said that a Federal Inves­tigation Agency (FIA) report re­garding the matter has been re­ceived, which stated that the post in question was not post­ed on the judge’s Facebook ac­count. The screenshots of the post alleged that judge Dilawar had disliked the PTI chairman and made derogatory remarks about him on social networking platform. The report found that three posts do not exist on judge Dilawar’s Facebook account. It also found that the screenshots do not have URLs, which are au­tomatically assigned to each pro­file, page, and post on Facebook. At this juncture, Haris object­ed saying that how can an uni­lateral report be accepted? He said that the trial court record­ed PTI chairman’s statement un­der section 342 and they had submitted a list of witnesses to the court and asked one day to produce the witnesses. He add­ed that the court ended our right to defence and asked to present final arguments. The IHC Chief Justice said that you have filed a petition about ‘prejudice’ of the trial court’s judge and you are saying that daily hearing of case demonstrates prejudice of the judge. Imran’s counsel said that the orders of the trial court demonstrate bias. Justice Aamer asked that your transfer petition is based on the partiality and are you saying daily hearing of the case by the judge is the bias. Haris requested the court to re­strain the trial court from fur­ther hearing of the case. The IHC CJ remarked that he also wished daily hearing of cases, but the accused should be given fair tri­al. Subsequently, the court re­served its verdict on all the pe­titions filed by Imran.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt