Thursday April 25, 2024

'Proceedings initiated to remove Imran Khan as PTI chief’, ECP tells IHC

In Toshakhana case, ex-PM's counsel argues against election commission's authority in IHC

By Awaid Yousafzai
December 13, 2022
A sign board outside the Islamabad High Court. — Twitter/File
A sign board outside the Islamabad High Court. — Twitter/File

ISLAMABAD: Following the disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in Toshakhana case, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Tuesday apprised the Islamabad High Court (IHC) regarding the initiative process of his removal from the party's leadership.

The electoral authority spoke about the development during the hearing of Khan's petition against his disqualification in the Toshakhana reference by the ECP. The commission also told the IHC about Islamabad's district and sessions court reserved its verdict on a plea filed by the ECP in the same case against the PTI chief for allegedly indulging in corrupt practices. The former prime minister, however, has denied involvement in any such practices.

A day earlier, it was learnt that the court would announce its verdict on December 15 at 2pm. The Toshakhana reference case was taken up by the trial court on November 22.

IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, while hearing the petition, remarked to take a decision on the application after listening to everyone in two to three weeks.

Imran Khan’s counsel Barrister Ali Zafar, while presenting his arguments, said that the ECP is not a court of law in light of several verdicts issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Therefore, it has no authority to disqualify any member of the National Assembly.

“In this case, the ECP took recourse to the Faisal Vawda case and issued a declaration,” Zafar said maintaining that the PTI chief took the gifts after a 20% payment and provided a copy of its challan.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Mohsin Shahnwaz Ranjha’s lawyer sought a week’s time to present his arguments.

The court adjourned further hearings on the petition till December 20.

Earlier this month, the apex court ruled that the ECP has no jurisdiction under the Constitution to decide upon the pre-election disqualification of a lawmaker when issuing the verdict in Vawda’s disqualification case revoking the lifetime ban on him which barred him from contesting in elections.