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Monday June 17, 2024

CJP Isa lashes out at PTI lawyer Latif Khosa over 'accusations'

Top judge reassures PTI leader of relief as per law, directs him to file request for early hearing of Imran Khan's Toshakhana case plea

By Maryam Nawaz
January 16, 2024
PTI leader Latif Khosa (left) and CJP Qazi Faez Isa. — X/@LatifKhosaP/SC website/File
PTI leader Latif Khosa (left) and CJP Qazi Faez Isa. — X/@LatifKhosaP/SC website/File

ISLAMABAD: A day after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) Latif Khosa refused to contest a case in the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa's court, the top judge called out the veteran lawyer over his accusations against the court.

While appearing before the SC in a service matter-related case, Khosa urged the apex court to fix PTI founder Imran Khan's petition regarding disqualification in the Toshakhana case, for hearing.

A day earlier, the senior lawyer withdrew the party's petition — filed on December 26, 2023 — seeking contempt proceedings against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) over its alleged failure to ensure a level-playing field ahead of the upcoming elections.

While appearing before the court on Monday, Khosa had said: "We do not want to fight this case in your [CJP Isa's] court. Thank you very much."

To this, the chief justice remarked: "If you don't accept the verdict then there's nothing the [court] can do [...] You are destroying all the institutions of Pakistan."

However, in today’s hearing, when the PTI leader raised the issue of the Toshakhana case, the top judge said: “On the one hand you express distrust over the judiciary, on the other, you also seek relief [for your clients].”

“Khosa sahib you hurl allegations [against us when outside the court],” CJP Isa remarked.

However, the chief justice directed Khosa to file the request for an early hearing reassuring him that the court would ensure that whatever relief is available as per the law, is duly given.

The top judge's remarks come as the top court, on December 27, had refused to conduct an immediate hearing of Khan’s plea against the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) ruling — dismissing his petition seeking suspension of his conviction by a trial in the Toshakhana case — owing to unavailability of judges owing to winter vacation.

The conversation comes in the backdrop of a major setback suffered by the PTI after the chief justice-led three-member bench upheld the ECP’s appeal against the Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) verdict that had annulled the electoral body’s ruling of revoking the party’s “bat” symbol over “unlawful” intra-party polls.

In its January 13 unanimous order, the court stated that since the ECP had been calling upon PTI to hold its intra-party elections since 24 May 2021, the time when the party was in power, "it cannot be stated that ECP was victimising PTI".

The ruling has left the party “high and dry” ahead of the February 8 polls as its candidates would now have to contest the elections in an independent capacity.