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.