Tuesday June 18, 2024

Will Imran remain in prison for 14 years or 24?

Concurrent sentences are ones which are served simultaneously whereas, cumulative sentence is one which does not begin to run until prior sentence has expire

By Fakhar Durrani
February 01, 2024
Former prime minister and founder of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan. — Facebook/Ali Nawaz Awan
Former prime minister and founder of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan. — Facebook/Ali Nawaz Awan

ISLAMABAD: How much time will Imran Khan spend in jail after the accountability court’s verdict in Toshakhana case? Whether the former premier will serve 14 years imprisonment or 24 years as he was also awarded 10 years imprisonment in the cipher case.

Legal experts, including retired judges, believe Imran Khan’s imprisonment will be concurrent instead of cumulative sentence. The judge will have to mention in his judgment whether it is a concurrent or cumulative imprisonment, legal experts believe.

The concurrent sentences are the ones which are served simultaneously. Whereas, the cumulative sentence is the one which does not begin to run until the prior sentence has expired.

Justice (R) Wajihuddin Ahmed while talking to The News said the courts have to mention in its order whether it will be a concurrent or cumulative sentence. In Imran Khan’s case, if the court mentions it as a concurrent sentence, Khan has to spend 14 years in jail maximum, he said.

Talking about how soon Imran Khan can get bail in both these cases, Justice (R) Wajih said, “In principle if there is any electoral process going on in the country and any national leader has been convicted, matters related to his case’s appeal should be given priority. Either the entire trial should be heard at earliest or at least the sentence should be suspended,” he commented.

“It is unfortunate to see the judiciary’s conduct in these cases. We saw an indecent haste in the Avenfield case and we are seeing the same haste in Imran Khan’s case,” he said.

Former president Supreme Court Bar Association Senator Kamran Murtaza says when there are more than one convictions or sentences, the courts clarify in the final/last judgment that it will be a concurrent sentence or cumulative one. “Normally, the rules are that the court announces concurrent sentences unless someone is a hardened criminal or most wanted terrorist. In Imran Khan’s case, it will be a concurrent sentence and he has to serve the maximum sentence only,” he said.

“If the courts for any reason do not clarify whether it’s a concurrent or cumulative sentence, the counsel can file an application under Section 561 of CrPc to get the verdict on concurrent sentence,” he remarked.

About how soon Imran Khan can get bail in the Toshakhana reference case as he has been awarded the maximum sentence under the NAB law, Senator Kamran Murtaza said, “If his appeal is not disposed of in a year or so, his legal team will have to apply for bail under the principle of Section 426 of CrPc. But since it is a maximum punishment, lawyers in that case never guarantee an early bail. Khan’s appeal will remain in queue until his turn comes which can take several months,” said Kamran Murtaza.

Senator Ali Zafar, while talking to The News, said that Imran Khan’s sentence will not be a cumulative sentence. Both his sentences will start together, hence, it will be a concurrent one.