SC takes up Imran’s petition against IHC verdict in Toshakhana case

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.

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