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Thursday June 20, 2024

New bench to take up Tyrian case on 21st

The case had been pending since May 2023, when IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq had dissolved a three-member bench

By Awais Yousafzai & Khalid Iqbal & Mumtaz Alvi
May 18, 2024
PTI founder Imran Khans ex-wife Jemima Goldsmith (right) and Tyrian White (left). — Instagram/khanjemima/file
PTI founder Imran Khan's ex-wife Jemima Goldsmith (right) and Tyrian White (left). — Instagram/khanjemima/file 

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has formed a new larger bench to hear a disqualification case against former premier Imran Khan for concealing his alleged daughter Tyrian White in his nomination papers filed for contesting the 2018 general election.

The bench, comprising Justices Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, Arbab Mohammad Tahir and Saman Rafat Imtiaz, would take up the petition on May 21.

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

The then bench comprising IHC CJ Aamer Farooq, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir had reserved its verdict on March 30, 2023, while Justices Kayani and Tahir had opined against the petition’s maintainability and uploaded their opinion on the IHC official website. Later on, their opinion was removed from the website. The high court explained that without signatures of the bench head Justice Aamer Farooq, the opinion of two judges could not be declared the bench verdict and uploaded to the court website. Now the IHC has formed a new bench and IHC CJ Justice Aamer Farooq has recused himself from the bench. Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir would be part of the new bench, though earlier he had declared the petition non-maintainable.

Separately, the wife of PTI founder, Bushra Bibi, expressed no confidence in the judge during the hearing of £190 million reference on Friday, but later retracted her motion after discussions with her husband Imran Khan and the legal team at Adiala Jail Rawalpindi.

Imran Khan appeared very upset throughout the hearing at Adiala Jail, while his wife Bushra Bibi appeared very angry. It seemed that Bushra Bibi did not want to meet anybody. In this situation, Imran Khan kept walking here and there in the jail courtroom.

The accountability court, led by Judge Nasir Javed Rana, heard the £190m reference, during which Bushra Bibi took to the rostrum and voiced her lack of confidence in the judge conducting the proceedings.

She stated that the previous hearing was conducted without her presence. However, she was told by the court that the previous hearing was adjourned without any proceedings due to ‘security concerns’, cited by the jail officials.

“I am a victim of injustice, and we do not trust you in the same manner that we did not trust the previous judges,” said the PTI founder’s wife.

The court then inquired from the defence team if they also shared Bushra’s opinion. The legal team said they “have confidence in the court” and requested permission to consult the accused.

During an-hour-and-a-half recess, former premier Imran Khan, along with the legal team, reportedly explained the situation to Bushra, after which she retracted her earlier motion and reaffirmed trust in the court.

During the hearing on Friday, the former first lady sat in the media box instead of the family corner. She also did not meet Imran or his sisters. This is for the first time that she had refused to meet the former premier’s siblings.

Later, she left the courtroom and called her daughters outside the courtroom to meet them. After consultation, the defendant’s lawyers filed a new request in the court.

The request prayed for conducting hearings for the case every 14 days, similar to other cases, which the court approved. The court also did not record any witness statements on Friday.

The court issued notices for the hearing on May 22 and adjourned the proceedings till that date.

Speaking to journalists outside Adiala Jail, PTI lawyer Naeem Panjutha confirmed that Bushra Bibi expressed a lack of faith in the judge in today’s hearing over a slow-paced trial.

He also confirmed that Bushra Bibi also refused to allow PIMS doctors for her medical examination. The lawyer claimed that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) wanted to file a new reference against Imran.

Later on, talking to the media at Adiala Jail, Imran Khan said the way the country was being run would endanger its security. He said his party was waging a struggle against dictatorship.

He announced writing a letter to the army chief not for himself but for the sake of the country.

In the message, shared by PTI Central Media Department, he said, “democracy is based on moral standards; democracy is run on moral strength. If democracy lacks morality, it is not called democracy”.

He announced a reference will be filed against Judge Abul Hasnat and Judge Qadratullah for the manner in which Bushra Bibi was given two sentences in five days in Adiala Jail: The Al-Qadir Trust case is also being run at the same pace, while the cases of other politicians, which are pending in the same courts, are given long dates.

“On the contrary, cases against us are being made three to four appearances in a week. We want our trial to proceed normally. Our question is why our petitions regarding May 9 and February 8 are not being heard; our trial should also be run on the lines of the trial of Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari and Yusuf Raza Gilani,” he emphasised.

On the issue of talks, he said, “We will not hold any talks with those who formed the government on the basis of form 47. What is the justification for this government to continue after the statement of the caretaker prime minister? In the light of the statements of Anwarul Haq Kakar and Commissioner Rawalpindi, the reality of form 47 will be revealed, then this government will fall automatically,” he added.