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IHC issues notice to NAB in Toshakhana probe on Bushra Bibi’s plea

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) issued notices to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday seeking responses to its investigation into the Toshakhana (gift depository) case while the case is still pending.

The high court reserved its decision on an application filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s wife, former first lady Bushra Bibi, challenging NAB summons notices.

The petitioner had asked the court to declare the February 16 and 17 notices illegal.

She had asked that the NAB inquiry not be converted into an investigation until a decision was made on the application, in which NAB has also named a party.

On March 21, the anti-graft watchdog summoned Bushra Bibi in the Toshakhana case.

Previously, on March 9, the accountability watchdog summoned PTI chief and his wife to their Rawalpindi office for an investigation into the Toshakhana case.

Imran’s summons was delivered to his homes in Islamabad, Bani Gala, and Chak Shehzad.

According to the notice, Imran violated the law by selling gifts received during his tenure, including four Rolex watches, an iPhone given to him by the Qatar Armed Forces in 2018, as well as valuable watches and other gifts.

Because of clashes between police and PTI workers outside the Islamabad Judicial Complex, Additional District and Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal cancelled the arrest warrants issued against the former premier in the Toshakhana case on March 18, allowing him to leave after marking his attendance without being indicted.

It should be noted that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) disqualified PTI chief in October last year when it announced its verdict in the Toshakhana reference.

Imran’s National Assembly seat was declared vacant by a four-member ECP bench after it was unanimously decided that he had misled officials about the gifts he received from foreign dignitaries during his tenure as prime minister.

The written ruling read that PTI chief had “intentionally and deliberately” violated the provisions contained in sections 137, 167, and 173 of the Elections Act, 2017 as he submitted a “false statement” and “incorrect declaration” to the ECP in the details of his assets and liabilities filed by him for the year 2020-21.

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