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Wednesday, July 17, 2024  
11 Muharram 1446  

IHC overturns sessions court judgment in Toshakhana criminal case, orders retrial

Khan's appeal for the removal of Judge Dilawal from the case also rejected

The Islamabad High Court Friday overturned a judgment of the lower court against PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the Toshakhana criminal case, ordering a retrial. However, the high court rejected Khan’s plea to remove Judge Humayun Dilawar from the case and declared that the retrial will be presided over by the same judge.

The sessions court in its judgment had declared the case against the PTI chief as ‘maintainable’, rejecting PTI’s claim that the criminal proceedings in the Toshakhana case were illegal.

After Friday’s judgment, the sessions court will go back to answering the question of admissibility before it could give a final ruling on the case.

The criminal proceedings against Imran Khan stem from a petition filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan under section 190(2) of the Election Act.

Imran Khan has been accused of selling state gifts on the market to make money. He was entitled to retain gifts from Toshakhana —a state repository where all the gifts received by government officials are deposited before they could take them home after completing the due process — but not to sell them on the market to make a profit, claims the Election Commission of Pakistan, which filed a petition against the former prime minister accusing him of “corrupt practice.”

The PTI says retaining state gifts or even selling them on the market was not a crime. It challenged the criminal proceedings against Khan before the high court.

The PTI also accused Additional Sessions Judge Humayun Dilawar of showing a bias towards Khan on social media. However, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in a report this week concluded that the judge did not post anything against Khan on his Facebook profile.

In his judgement on Friday, IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq dismissed Imran Khan’s plea to remove Judge Dilawal from the case and ordered the judge to decide the matter after hearing the case again.

The high court reserved its judgment in a related appeal filed by the PTI chief. Judge Dilawar had struck off Khan’s right of defence in the case. The court issued notices for next week on the petition.

Judge Dilawal continued to hear the case on Friday but postponed the hearing when he was informed about the high court judgement. The sessions court will meet again on Friday at 8:30 am.

SC disposes of Khan’s appeal against Toshakhana trial

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court disposed of PTI Chief Imran Khan’s appeal against the Toshakhana trial on Friday.

Before the decision, the bench hearing the application was changed on the PTI chief’s appeal.

The apex court cannot make a decision until the final decision of the trial court in the Toshakhana case, said the decision.

Earlier, a three-member bench led by Justice Yahya Afridi asked PTI lawyer Khawaja Haris whether they had got any relief from the high court. The lawyer replied negatively.

Justice Afridi asked the PTI lawyer what they wanted from the court. Let the decision from the high court come, he added.

Haris replied that they were not heard in the high court on the filed petitions.

ECP lawyer Amjad Pervez argued that Haris wanted his own interpretation of the court’s decision.

The top court said that according to the petitioner, the Toshakhana case was pending and they don’t want a decision from the apex court at the moment.

Justice Afridi asked whether the petitioner wanted to add anything else to the order.

The ECP lawyer said that the court has already issued a “best order” and demanded the court dismiss it instead of disposing of it.

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