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Wednesday July 17, 2024

LHC grants protective bail to PTI chief in Toshakhana fraud case

Deposed prime minister says he is “falsely implicated” in the FIR

By Naveen Ali
June 07, 2023
A general picture of Lahore High Courts building. — AFP/File
A general picture of Lahore High Court's building. — AFP/File 

Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan secured relief from the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday as it granted interim protective bail to the ousted premier till June 21 in a case related to alleged fraud in the sale of gifts he retained from the Toshakhana.

A day earlier, the first information report (FIR) was filed at Islamabad’s Kohsar police station, accusing the deposed premier — who was removed from office via a vote of no-confidence in April last year — his wife Bushra Bibi, ex-accountability czar Shahzad Akbar and others of committing fraud, forgery for the purpose of cheating and presenting a fake receipt of the complainant's business letterhead wherein false receipt showing sale purchases of gifts such as watches, cuff links were fraudulently obtained from Toshakhana with false signatures was prepared.

The FIR was lodged by Naseemul Haq — an employee at a business which deals with the sale and purchase of expensive watches in Islamabad.

“As per the record, no such transaction regarding the sale and above-mentioned items has ever taken place with such nominated accused persons and neither the accused persons have sold us any such items,” read the FIR.

LHC grants protective bail to PTI chief in Toshakhana fraud case

Earlier today, the PTI chairman moved the LHC seeking protective bail in the case. In its plea, the ex-premier pleaded with the court that he was “falsely implicated” in the FIR with “mala fide intention and ulterior motive”.

The FIR was aimed at harassing, blackmailing and politically victimising him, the ousted prime minister wrote in his petition.

During the course of the proceeding, Barrister Salman Safdar — Khan’s counsel — apprised LHC Judge Justice Amjad Rafique that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had already carried out an action against his client in the Toshakhana case.

He pleaded with the court to grant his client protective bail as the PTI chief has to appear before the Islamabad courts in 11 different cases on June 8. The lawyer revealed in the courtroom that yet another case related to the murder of a lawyer has been filed against his client, who is also already facing over 150 cases. The ousted premier was also present in the courtroom during the proceeding.

Subsequently, the court granted protective bail to the PTI chairman till June 21 and directed him to approach the relevant court in the case.