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Monday April 22, 2024

ECP likely to issue detailed verdict in Toshakhana reference tomorrow

ECP’s ailing member from Punjab Babar Hassan Bharwana has signed detailed verdict in Toshakhana reference today, sources say

By Web Desk
October 23, 2022
ECP will issue a detailed verdict in Toshakhana reference tomorrow. AFP/file
ECP will issue a detailed verdict in Toshakhana reference tomorrow. AFP/file 

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is likely to issue its detailed verdict in the Toshakhana disqualification reference filed against former prime minister Imran Khan tomorrow,  well-placed sources have said.

The ECP disqualified Imran Khan under Article 63(1)(p) for making “false statements and incorrect declaration” about the Toshakhana gifts on October 21.

A five-member bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, unanimously ruled against Khan. In its judgment, the ECP said Khan is no longer a member of the National Assembly and that his response was "not correct".

Earlier today, PTI’s Senior Vice President Chaudhry Fawad Hussain raised questions over the delay of the detailed verdict in the case. He asked if there was no verdict to release despite a span of 24 hours, then what did the election commissioner read on Friday.

He maintained that if the verdict did not carry the signatures of all the ECP members, then it was not a judgment.

The sources privy to the matter said the ECP member from Punjab Babar Hassan Bharwana and his wife have been suffering from dengue. A special team of the electoral watchdog went to Jhang to take the signatures of the ailing ECP member on the detailed verdict.

Following his signatures, the judgment in the Toshakhana reference will be issued on Monday, the sources added.

The ECP's initial verdict reads as follows:

As a sequel to our abovementioned findings, facts available on record and keeping in view the argument of learned counsel for parties herein, we are of the considered opinion that the Respondent has become disqualified under Article 63(1)(p) of Constitution read with Section 137,167 and 173 of the Elections Act, 2017, consequently he ceases to be a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan and his seat has become vacant accordingly.

As the respondent has made false statements and incorrect declarations, therefore he has also committed the offence of corrupt practices defined under Sections 167 and 173 of the Elections Act,2017, punishable under Section 174 of the Elections Act, 2017. The office is directed to initiate legal proceedings and to take follow-up action under Section 190(2) of the Elections Act, 2017.