ISLAMABAD: PTI Chairman Imran Khan has filed a petition with the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday, seeking the suspension of the trial court’s verdict in the Toshakhana case.
This move comes after more than a month since the IHC suspended Imran Khan’s three-year sentence in the Toshakhana case. On August 5, an Islamabad trial court found the PTI chief guilty of “corrupt practices” related to concealing details of state gifts and sentenced him to three years in prison.
Despite Additional District and Sessions Judge Humayun Dilawar’s order for the capital police chief to arrest Imran Khan, he was apprehended by the Punjab police instead and taken to Attock district jail. The Supreme Court later acknowledged “procedural defects” in Imran Khan’s conviction by the trial court.
Following the suspension of his sentence in the Toshakhana case by the IHC, the government detained Imran Khan in the cipher case, and he has remained in judicial remand, which has been extended until October 10.
On September 26, Imran Khan was moved from Attock jail to Adiala jail on the IHC’s directives. Last weekend, the police increased security in the vicinity of Adiala jail by deploying elite commandos and setting up additional security checkpoints for enhanced safety measures.
Today, Imran Khan, represented by senior lawyer Sardar Latif Khosa, filed a petition with the IHC against the Toshakhana verdict under section 561-A (saving of inherent power of the high court) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The petition seeks the “rectification of the order dated August 28 to the extent of suspending the operation of the impugned order along with the sentence, as verbally prayed by the learned counsel for the petitioner before this honorable court at the time of arguments.”
It urges the court to rectify the “omission of not recording the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner with regard to the suspension” of the Toshakhana judgment of August 5. The plea also requests the IHC to suspend or stay the operation of the same order until a final decision is reached in the appeal. Additionally, it seeks permission to make the state a respondent in the memo of appeal.
The petition emphasizes that during the arguments, Imran Khan’s counsel, Khosa, had “specifically requested” the IHC to suspend the operation of the Toshakhana verdict as well as the sentence, citing the clear language of section 426 (suspension of sentence pending appeals) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Referring to section 561-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the petition states that the IHC has the authority to issue orders “to give effect to any order under the Code (CrPC) or to prevent abuse of process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice.”
The plea points out that the omission of the counsel’s contentions before the IHC when urging the suspension of the August 5 trial court verdict and the “subsequent non-mentioning of the same” in the IHC’s order of August 28 was “an omission floating on the face of the order.”
It argues that this omission of arguments has “caused serious prejudice to the rights” of the PTI chief as he has been disqualified from contesting elections by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The petition further alleges that the ECP’s malfeasance is “conspicuously ascertainable from the very complaint and consequential illegal trial, all of which proceedings are corrum non-judice and non-est.” It adds that the ECP acted hastily in disqualifying the petitioner, notwithstanding the fact that the conviction/sentence had not attained finality.
The plea concludes by mentioning “attempts being made to remove him (sic) from the head of the party and even proceedings to take away the symbol and throw him out of the arena of general elections.” It also notes that “the entire leadership of PTI is either incarcerated or amongst the missing persons beside hundreds of false cases registered against loyalist resulting in incarceration and unending ordeal.”