Islamabad court summons ex-PM to record statement in gifts case n ECP defers PTI chief's indictment in contempt case till Aug 2 n IHC serves notices to respondents in PTI chief's plea against FIA summons n Lahore ATC cancels proclamation proceedings against Uzma Khan, Aleema Khan.
ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday fixed an appeal of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman against the verdict of Islamabad High Court (IHC) in the Toshakhana case for hearing on Wednesday (today).
A two-judge bench comprising Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Musarat Hilali will hear the case.
The trial court had dismissed the PTI chief's petition against the maintainability of Toshakhana criminal case and the decision was challenged in the IHC. The high court referred the matter back to the trial court, with the instructions to re-decide the case within seven days after hearing the defence said.
The PTI’s chairman has challenged the IHC's verdict regarding sending the matter again to the trial court.
Reportedly, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Tuesday grilled Imran Khan for nearly two hours in a case related to a cipher that allegedly contains details of a threat made by the United States against the previous government.
As per details, the PTI chief appeared before the joint investigation team of the federal probe authorities at its headquarters. After nearly a two-hour-long interrogation, the deposed premier left the FIA headquarters. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday served notices to respondents in petitions of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman seeking details of cases against him and the FIA’s summon in the matter pertaining to the cipher. Chief Justice Aamer Farooq heard the cases filed by the PTI chief through Sardar Latif Khosha Advocate.
Latif Khosa pleaded before the court that the National Security Council had discussed the cipher during the last government’s tenure and the matter was also protested with the country concerned. The matter was again discussed by the NCS after the incumbent government came into power.
The lawyer questioned whether the Federal Cabinet could issue directions to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe a matter as in the instant case the Agency had started an inquiry on the former’s directives. He said his client had approached the Lahore High Court (LHC) on November 30, 2022 against the notice of FIA and they were asked to approach the IHC as the notice was issued from Islamabad. The lawyer said that there was a risk of arrest of his client during appearance before the FIA.
After hearing the arguments, the court firstly reserved its verdict on the maintainability of the case and later served notices to the respondents. Also, a lower court on Tuesday summoned PTI chairman for recording his statement under section-342 as the cross-examination of two prosecution witness was completed in the Toshakhana criminal case. Additional District and Sessions Judge Hamayun Dilawar heard the Toshakhana case. The PTI leader’s lawyer Khawaja Haris resumed cross-examination of prosecution witness District Election Commissioner Waqas Malik. To a lawyer’s query, the witness said the ECP had served notices to the PTI chief and sought details about the purchaser and receipts of Toshakhana gifts. Amjad Pervaiz, counsel for the Election Commission of Pakistan, said the witness had never been part of the proceedings in the ECP regarding the matter, and the defence lawyer was asking the questions to mislead the court.
He said the PTI chairman had never told the details of the purchaser of the gifts to the ECP. The ECP’s proceedings were never challenged before any court, he added. Amjad Pervaiz said the witness had not prepared the documents, rather he just received the same from the ECP. The judge remarked that neither the facts about the Toshakhana gifts were being heard by the court nor the ECP’s decision was challenged here. The witness had repeatedly told that he was not part of the ECP’s proceedings, he noted and said if something was not written in the attached documents then the witness was not responsible for it.
To a query, the witness said that he knew that tax returns used to be submitted to the ECP by the members of the Parliament every year before December 31. Every member had to disclose their assets, which were transferred or purchased till June 30, through Form-B, he added. The defence lawyer said that the witness was wrong as a member was supposed to submit the details only related to the transferred assets. He also said that his cross-examination was based on the documents which were attached with the complaint. The witness said that the PTI chairman had not attached any proof regarding the Toshakhana gifts with Form-B for the years of 2019-20, and the said form was itself a proof. The documents of 2020-21 mentioned the details of five gifts including a carpet, jewelry, a Rolex watch, a ring, a bracelet, a dinner set etc. Lawyer Amjad Pervaiz said six challans had been submitted regarding the purchase of gifts. The witness said that an amount of around Rs 1,16,68,000 was paid deposited for the gifts, but he did not know whether it was mentioned in the tax returns of 2020-21. His complaint was not about the tax returns, he added.
Waqas Malik said that it was totally wrong that the complaint was not filed by a competent authority and that it was filed on political grounds. The defence lawyer then conducted cross-examination of second prosecution witness Musadaq Anwar, who said that he himself had verified the tax returns of PTI chairman. The tax returns submitted by the members of Parliament were public documents, he added. The court also granted one time exemption from attendance to the PTI chief and adjourned the hearing till Wednesday summoning him to record his statement under section-342. Proclamation proceedings against Uzma Khan, Aleema Khan The Lahore anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Tuesday cancelled proclamation proceedings against Uzma Khan and Aleema Khan, the sisters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, in the Jinnah House attack case. The court observed that proclamation proceedings were cancelled against the accused as they had obtained pre-arrest interim bail from the relevant court in the case. The court further observed that the proceedings were cancelled on the request of the investigation officer. “Due to the lack of knowledge of the investigation officer about the interim bail of the accused, the court had started the proclamation proceedings on July 24”, it added. ATC Judge Abher Gul Khan passed the orders while allowing an application filed by the investigation officer for the purpose. The investigation officer had approached the court for cancellation of the proclamation proceedings against the accused.