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Monday July 22, 2024

ECP issues detailed verdict in Toshakhana reference against Imran Khan

"The Election Commission of Pakistan is proper forum and has jurisdiction to decide matter,” reads detailed verdict

By Web Desk
October 24, 2022
Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan. — AFP/File
Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday issued its much-awaited detailed verdict in the Toshakhana reference disqualifying former prime minister Imran Khan for "making false statements and incorrect declaration" about the gifts he had received during his tenure as the premier.

The detailed judgment, which has the signatures of all five members, was issued today as the Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected Imran Khan’s request to suspend the ECP’s order instantly in the Toshakhana reference.

On Friday, the electoral watchdog disqualified Imran Khan under Article 63(1)(p) of the constitution.

Headed by the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, the ECP's five-member bench unanimously ruled against the former prime minister.

The commission, in its judgment, stated that the PTI chief is no more a member of the National Assembly and deemed his response "not correct".

The 36-page order released noted that the petitioners submitted that the respondent did not disclose gifts and precious items which he acquired from foreign countries in the statement of assets and liabilities filed before the ECP from the year 2017-2021.

“He added that the list attached with the reference clearly shows the nature of gift items which included flower vases, watches, cufflinks, and decoration pieces, and rules 6(i) can be retained if the price of the item is less than Rs30,000/- and where the valued amount is more than Rs30,000 can be retained subject to deposit of 50% of the value amount of gift received.

“He added that the Election Commission of Pakistan is the proper forum and has jurisdiction to decide the matter,” the detailed verdict read.

It was also mentioned that it was the obligation of the respondent to declare complete details of assets whether in the shape of gifts or amounts including the transfer of any assets to any during the financial year in the annual statement of assets and liabilities along with details and its cost value in a column in column number 2 and 3 of Form-B (remarks).

“The commission has the jurisdiction to inquire into any matter or objection raised by any person including a reference from Speaker against any member of the Parliament or an assembly regarding concealment, false or misdeclaration in the statement of assets and liabilities after 120 days,” the verdict read.

The document mentioned that the disqualification of the members may be made under any law for the time being in force.

“In the instant case Elections Act, 2017 is the relevant law, and the violation or non-compliance or misdeclaration made by any Member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) comes under the ambit of disqualification and the commission has the jurisdiction to adjudicate upon the question of disqualification on any of the grounds mentioned in Article 63(1).

“The commission is also competent to direct filling of a criminal complaint under Section 190 for violation of sections 137,167 and Section 173 of the Elections Act, 2017 which is a criminal liability while misdeclaration, false declaration, and concealment of assets also bear civil liabilities,” it read.