Toshakhana reference: Court records district election commissioner’s statement

PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses a press conference. — APP/File
  • The court sent notice to PTI Chairman on ECP orders.
  • No fireworks in first hearing of Toshakhana reference.
  • Court adjourns case till December 8, 2022.  

ISLAMABAD: A trial court Tuesday took up the Toshakhana reference filed against PTI Chairman Imran Khan for allegedly indulging in corrupt practices, which the former prime minister denied and vowed to contest fiercely.

During the court proceeding, the judicial officials recorded the statement of the District Election Commissioner (DEC) Waqas Malik.

Later, Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal adjourned the hearing till December 8, 2022.

Per the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) order, a trial court in Islamabad sent a notice to the PTI chief a day earlier in the trial opened against him in the Toshakhana reference.

The notice was sent after the court received a copy of the reference ordering criminal proceedings against Khan.

If proven guilty, Khan can be sentenced to three-year imprisonment and fined heavily.

Last month, ECP, in a consensus verdict in Toshakana reference, disqualified the former prime minister and ruled that the PTI chief was no more a member of the National Assembly.

The ECP stated that the PTI chief had submitted a false affidavit and was found involved in corrupt practices under Article 63(1)(p).

“As a sequel to our abovementioned findings, facts available on record and keeping in view the argument of learned counsel for parties herein, we are of the considered opinion that the Respondent has become disqualified under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution read with Section 137,167 and 173 of the Elections Act,2017, consequently he ceases to be a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan and his seat has become vacant accordingly,” the ECP order stated.

In the verdict, ECP also declared that Khan had made “false statements and incorrect declarations, therefore he has also committed the offence of corrupt practices defined under Sections 167 and 173 of the Elections Act, 2017”.

It added that the offence was, punishable under Section 174 of the Elections Act, 2017 and directed legal proceedings and follow-up action under Section 190(2) of the Elections Act.

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