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ECP official records statement in Imran Khan’s Toshakhana case

PTI Chairman Imran Khan. — NNI/ file

The district election commissioner on Tuesday recorded his statement in the Toshakhana case against PTI Chairman Imran Khan, during a hearing at a district and sessions court in Islamabad.

The criminal proceedings started when the court sent a notice to Khan for today in the trial opened against him in the Toshakhana reference.

In the reference, ECP seeks three-year imprisonment and a fine against Khan.

Last month, ECP, in a consensus verdict in the 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.

Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal heard the reference today. 

After District Election Commissioner Waqas Malik recorded his statement, the court adjourned the hearing till December 8.

The case

In August 2022, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf sent a reference to the ECP under Articles 62A, 63A, and 223, seeking former prime minister Imran Khan’s disqualification in the light of the Toshakhana scam.

The disqualification reference was filed by Ali Gohar Khan, PML-N’s Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha, and five others.

The 28-page reference identified 52 gift items of Toshakhana received by the former prime minister Khan, violating the law and rules, taken away at nominal prices and most of the gifts were sold in the market, including some precious watches.

The assessed value of the gifts has been put at Rs 142,042,100. The gifts were received between August 2018 and December 2021.

According to PML-N MNA Ranjha, Khan concealed information about the gift of watches by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in his statement of assets submitted in 2018-2019.

This withholding of information is tantamount to lying which, according to Ranjha, is a crime under Section 137.

He thus said that Khan was no more Sadiq and Ameen and should be slapped with disqualification for life from contesting the election under Article 62(1)(f), Article 2, Article 3 of the Constitution.

Article 62(1)(f) is the same legal instrument that disqualified former PM Nawaz Sharif from contesting elections and led to his removal from power, Ranjha said.

Source: The News

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