ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will announce its much-anticipated verdict on a request made by incarcerated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan seeking withdrawal of a petition challenging his disqualification in the Toshakhana reference on Wednesday (today).
On October 21, 2022, the electoral watchdog, in a consensus verdict, had disqualified the former prime minister under Article 63(1)(p) and ruled that the PTI founder was no more a member of the National Assembly. He was disqualified for making “false statements and incorrect declaration”.
The ECP had stated that Imran submitted a false affidavit and was found involved in corrupt practices under Article 63(1)(p). The decision was taken unanimously by the electoral authority’s five-member bench. The deposed prime minister challenged his disqualification in the IHC, praying to the court to set aside the judgment as he said the ECP had no jurisdiction over the matter.
In the meantime, a separate petition was filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) against Imran’s disqualification. The petition challenged the ECP’s relevant section under which Imran was disqualified. Initially, the petitioner did not apprise the IHC about his second plea in the LHC. Later, the PTI founder requested the IHC to allow him to withdraw his plea.
During the proceedings, IHC Chief Justice Aamir Farooq expressed his annoyance over concealing the matter about the second petition and remarked: “In principle, the case should proceed in the court where the appeal was filed first.”
Imran’s counsel argued that a larger bench of the LHC was hearing the case. After hearing the arguments from all sides, the IHC reserved its verdict on September 13, 2023. The court will announce its reserved judgment on Wednesday (today).