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Monday June 24, 2024

IHC dismisses disqualification plea against Imran Khan in Tyrian White case

Court says disqualification plea against Khan had already been dismissed by the bench

By Awais Yousafzai
May 21, 2024
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan. — Instagram/@imrankhan.pti
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan. — Instagram/@imrankhan.pti

ISLAMABAD: A three-member bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed a petition against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan, seeking his disqualification in the Tyrian White case. 

The new IHC bench heard the plea today against the former premier for not disclosing his alleged daughter in the nomination papers filed for contesting 2018 general elections.

The bench hearing the case comprised Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, Justice Arbab Mohammad Tahir and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz.

The case had been pending since May 2023 after a three-member bench hearing the case was dissolved by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq. The decision was taken after the opinions of two judges regarding the plea’s maintainability were uploaded on the court website.

The bench comprised IHC CJ Aamer Farooq, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir and had reserved the verdict in the case on March 30 last year. However, Justice Kayani and Justice Tahir had opined against the petition’s maintainability and uploaded their opinion on the IHC official website which was later removed.

The high court explained that without the signatures of the bench head Justice Farooq, the opinion of two judges could not be declared the bench verdict and uploaded to the court website.

Hearing

As the hearing started, the petitioner's lawyer, Advocate Hamid Ali Shah, said that Salman Akram Raja had filed an adjournment petition in this case.

Khan's lawyer Naeem Haider Panjhuta said that this matter has already been settled and the verdict was also uploaded on the website.

Panjhuta said that after the verdict was removed from the website, the bench was reconstituted through a press release.

Justice Jahangiri asked Panjhuta if he was a lawyer in this case. To this, he replied that he was a proxy counsel.

The judge then said that Justice Kayani and Justice Tahir gave an opinion in this case.

At this, Advocate Shah said that this was the opinion of two judges and the verdict was not signed by the chief justice.

"How can we provide relief when the petition has been dismissed?" questioned Justice Jahangiri.

Advocate Shah said that he needed some time to prepare, adding that he could only assist the court after reading the verdict.

Justice Jahangiri said that the IHC CJ recused himself from the bench and two judges had given their verdict.

The court said that the disqualification plea against Khan had already been dismissed by the bench.

"The majority decision has already been issued," remarked the court.

The case

A petitioner, Mohammad Sajid, had alleged that Imran Khan had not disclosed his alleged daughter — Tyrian — in his nomination papers which were filed for contesting the 2018 general elections.

Sajid alleged that 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.

The petitioner’s lawyers argued that the PTI founder did not declare Tyrian as his daughter in the affidavit submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The petitioner had alleged that the former premier did not marry his alleged girlfriend Sita White, mother of Tyrian, because her father told Khan that he would not get a “penny” from his wealth if he married Sita.

The petition, titled “Imran versus Imran — the untold story”, also claimed that the custody of Tyrian was given to Jemima Goldsmith, the former wife of Khan.

It added that Sita in her will of February 27, 2004, had nominated Jemima as guardian of her daughter Tyrian. Sita died that year on May 13.

“Jemima Goldsmith had been the spouse of Imran Khan (1995-2004)."

“The concealed facts stood confirmed by a judgment of paternity rendered by a superior court in California in favour of Sita White where it was held that the respondent (Imran Khan) was the father of Tyrian Jade.”

The PTI founder initially joined the proceedings but later backtracked after he was asked to undergo a blood test, it added.