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Tyrian White case: Verdict on admissibility of plea against Imran Khan reserved

PTI chief has neither denied nor accepted anything, remarks Justice Farooq

By Awais Yousafzai
March 30, 2023
An undated image of the Islamabad High Court building. — IHC building
An undated image of the Islamabad High Court building. — IHC building 

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday reserved its judgement on the admissibility of a plea seeking disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for not disclosing his alleged daughter — Tyrian White — in the election papers.

A three-member LHC bench, headed by Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir, heard the case.

In his petition, Mohammad Sajid — a citizen — said that Imran Khan provided incorrect information while submitting his nomination papers for the general elections held in 2018.

The petitioner also said that even though the former prime minister has three children, he had mentioned only two in the papers and concealed the existence of his third child.

At the outset of the hearing, the petitioner’s lawyers argued that the PTI chief did not declare Tyrian White as his daughter in the affidavit submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) due to which he cannot hold the position of party chairman.

The lawyer informed the three-member bench that all facts related to the case have been submitted in the court along with the petition while Khan hasn’t responded to any of those.

Justice Farooq remarked that according to the record, Khan has neither denied nor accepted anything. 

Lawyer Shah stated that Khan had mentioned his wife Bushra Bibi and two sons — Qasim and Suleman — in the affidavit. He further added that Khan had mentioned that both his sons live with their mother and are not financially dependent on him.

Continuing with his argument, the petitioner’s lawyer added that Khan has not disclosed details of his alleged daughter, Tyrian, who wasn’t married and as per Islamic laws was dependent on her father financially.

He further added that even if the case is regarding the party chairman then it too should be admitted for hearing as according to the court decisions a person is disqualified under Article 62(1)(f) for submitting a false affidavit.

At this, the court questioned that if the bench decides that the affidavit was false then what will happen? Responding to this, lawyer Shah said in such a case Khan will be disqualified from the party head position nor can he become a member of the national assembly.

The court also inquired about the ECP’s take in this regard, to which the lawyer representing the electoral body said that such petitions have been rejected in the past.

Expressing its indignation, the court mentioned that the hearing was being held to decide whether the petition was worthy enough to be heard or not. If the case was worthy of being admitted, then only the proceeding will continue otherwise it will be dismissed.

The ECP drew the court’s ire after it sought the court’s permission to submit documents. The lawyer defended themselves saying that they only wanted to inform the court that they have dismissed this case earlier due to lack of evidence.