‘What the trial court did was improper,’ says IHC CJ in reference to the Toshakhana case

  • Doctors suggested bed rest for ECP counsel, says assistant.
  • “We can do what trial court did, but we will not,” says Justice Farooq.
  • Even if no one comes, we will announce decision: IHC top judge.

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Aamer Farooq stated on Friday that the trial court “did wrong” in convicting former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan in the Toshakahna case.

The PTI leader’s appeal against the Toshakhana verdict, which earlier this month sentenced him to three years in prison and assessed a fine of Rs. 100,000, was being heard when the judge made his comments.

The appeal for the suspension of Khan’s conviction was heard by the Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Humayun Dilawar of the trial court before a two-person IHC bench made up of CJ Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri.

Amjad Parvez, the legal representative for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), chose not to appear in front of the bench during today’s hearing due to illness.

In requesting an adjournment, his assistant attorney stated: “For the last eight months, we never sought adjournment.”

He claimed that doctors had advised Parvez to take it easy.

At this, the IHC chief justice said: “The request for suspension of sentence is now at a critical stage.” He added that arguments would have been completed in fifteen to twenty minutes.

He further said: “We can also do what the trial court did, but we will not.”

The PTI has criticised the trial court’s verdicy saying that the decision was announced in haste in the absence of the party chief and his lawyer.

The hearing was then postponed until Monday by the court.

Justice Farooq said, “We adjourn the case until Monday, and even if no one comes, we will announce our decision. What the trial court did was improper.”

Latif Khosa, a lawyer for the PTI, remarked at this point, “One person has been in jail for twenty days. Will [you]continue to jail the PTI chairman for three more days?

Do what needs to be done; we won’t show up in court.

He requested the bench to suspend the sentence today.

“If you are satisfied with their arguments on Monday, then send them back to jail,” he requested.

Besides the sentence of incarceration, the additional district and sessions judge also imposed a fine of Rs100,000 after finding Khan guilty of graft in the Toshakhana case.

Following the PTI chief’s arrest, it is the third petition the party had filed.

It is important to note that the Supreme Court (SC) heard a petition on Wednesday challenging the IHC’s decision to send the case back to the judge who presided over the trial and found that Toshakhana’s conviction had been hastened.

It acknowledged the “procedural defects” in Khan’s conviction but chose to postpone action until the IHC had ruled on the former premier’s plea for the three-year sentence to be suspended.

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