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SC rejects PTI chief’s plea to stop Toshakhana criminal trial

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a petition filed by former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Asif Ali Zardari seeking a stay of proceedings in the Toshakhana case.

PTI Chairman Khan had filed an appeal against the judgment of the Islamabad High Court to remand the Toshakhana matter back to the lower court for hearing.

A two-member bench led by Justice Yahya Afridi denied the PTI’s main plea and remanded the matter to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for re-examination.

PTI head and his legal counsel appeared in front of the court.

In its judgment, the Supreme Court directed the High Court to hear Imran Khan’s appeal and other motions concurrently. The court contended that it would be improper to intervene in the trial court’s proceedings.

The court also served a notice on the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), directing it to respond by today. The ECP lawyer, Amjad Parvez, later attended the hearing to submit the response.

Toshakhana allusion

After the Election Commission of Pakistan disqualified the PTI chief for making “false statements and incorrect declarations,” the Toshakhana issue became a major source of contention in national politics.

Last year, parliamentarians from the ruling coalition filed a referral alleging that Imran failed to reveal information about the gifts he received from the Toshaskhana (during his tenure as prime minister).

The former premier was also found to have engaged in corrupt acts under sections 167 and 173 of the constitution, according to the ruling. “A criminal investigation will be launched against him for making a false statement.”

“His disqualification under Article 63, 1(P) has been for his current parliament membership,” the ECP stated in its 36-page full reference verdict.

“The funds in his bank account were roughly half the value of the state gifts.” “Imran Khan was required to declare the cash and bank details in his returns, but he did not,” the ECP ruling stated.

“Imran Khan has been declared disqualified and unseated from his National Assembly seat,” the ECP stated, adding that “he has been disqualified under Article 63, 1(P) for submitting a false statement and declaration.”

Following this, on March 9, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) opened an investigation into former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case.

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