IHC rejects petition seeking Imran disqualification in Tyrian case

ISLAMABAD   -   The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday turned down a petition seeking disqualification of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan for concealing his alleged daughter Tyrian White.

A larger bench of IHC comprising Justice Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri, Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir and Justice Saman Raffat Imtiaz conducted hearing of the case seeking the PTI founder’s disqualification on the grounds that he did not declare his alleged daughter in his nomination papers and rejected the same.

The bench in its written verdict said that IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq vide note dated 10.05.2023, recused himself and passed a direction that the judgment of both the judges should be sealed and subsequently constituted this Bench.

“Today in open court in presence of the parties, audience and the journalists, envelope has been de-sealed, it revealed that Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir, (the latter is member of this Bench) had given a detailed judgment, whereby the instant petition has been dismissed,” mentioned the bench.

It added, “In view of the judgment by majority of the Bench dismissing the petition, we are of the view that for the reasons to be recorded later no further proceedings are necessitated. The judgment dated 02.05.2023 and the two notes are appended herewith.”

During the hearing, Hamid Ali Shah Advocate appeared before the court on behalf of petitioner Mohammad Sajid and informed the bench that the counsel Salman Akram Raja had sought an adjournment in the matter.

However, PTI lawyer Naeem Haider Panjotha intervened and said that the verdict in this case was announced on May 10, last year, and was subsequently uploaded on the court’s website. He added that this case has also been cited by the six IHC judges in their letter written to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) regarding interference of spy agencies in judicial matters.

At this, Justice Jahangiri observed that two of the three judges hearing the case declared the application inadmissible. He asked that what will be the effect after the decision of two judges? The petitioner’s counsel informed the court that the high court’s chief justice did not sign the order.

The judge again asked Hamid about the possible effect of an order when two judges had signed it. Hamid then sought two to three weeks’ time to prepare his arguments.

However, the judge asked how could the court give a date for a hearing in a case that has already been rejected. Hamid stated that he required some time to seek judicial assistance.

Justice Jahangiri said that the IHC CJ recused himself from the bench and two judges had given their verdict. The court said that the disqualification plea against Khan had already been dismissed by the bench. It added that the majority decision has already been issued.

This matter had been pending since May 2023 after a three-member bench hearing the case was dissolved by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq. The decision was taken after the opinions of two judges regarding the plea’s maintainability were uploaded on the court website.

The bench comprising IHC CJ Aamer Farooq, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir had reserved the verdict in the case on March 30 last year. However, Justice Kayani and Justice Tahir had opined against the petition’s maintainability and uploaded their opinion on the IHC official website which was later removed.

The high court explained that without the signature of the bench head Justice Farooq, the opinion of two judges could not declare the bench’s verdict and uploaded to the court website.

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