IHC dismisses Imran Khan's withdrawal plea in Toshakhana reference

IHC dismisses Imran Khan's withdrawal plea in Toshakhana reference

Islamabad (Web Desk): The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday rejected former premier Imran Khan’s plea to withdraw his appeal against disqualification in the Toshakhana reference filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

IHC Chief Justice (CJ) Aamer Farooq announced the verdict, which was reserved on September 13.

The former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman had had filed an appeal against the electoral body's verdict on October 28, 2022, and later sought withdrawal on January 18, 2023.

He had sought withdrawal of the appeal at the IHC as the matter was pending in the Lahore High Court (LHC).

On October 21, 2022, the ECP disqualified the former premier in Toshakhana reference.

As per the verdict, Imran Khan had been disqualified under Article 63 (1) (P) of the Constitution of Pakistan and sections 137 and 173 of the Elections Act, 2017.

The ECP had stated that the former PTI chief submitted a false affidavit and was found involved in corrupt practices under Article 63(1)(p).

Khan challenged his disqualification in the IHC, praying to the court to set aside the judgment as he said the ECP had no jurisdiction over the matter.

In the meantime, a separate petition was filed in the LHC against Khan's disqualification.

The petition challenged the ECP's relevant section under which the ex-PTI chief was disqualified.

Initially, the petitioner did not apprise the IHC about his second plea in the LHC over the same matter. Later, the PTI founder requested the IHC to allow him to withdraw his plea as he reportedly wanted the LHC to proceed with the case.

During proceedings, IHC Chief Justice Aamir Farooq expressed his annoyance over concealing the matter about the second petition in the LHC and remarked: “In principle, the case should proceed in the court where the appeal was filed first.”

Khan's counsel argued that a larger bench of the LHC was hearing the case.

After hearing the arguments from all sides, the IHC reserved its verdict on September 13, 2023.

The former coalition government had filed a reference seeking Imran’s disqualification from public office under articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution for “not sharing details” of Toshakhana gifts and proceeds from their alleged sale.

They had submitted the reference to the National Assembly speaker who subsequently forwarded it to the CEC for action.

In the reference, it was alleged that Imran Khan did not disclose the income earned by selling gifts from Tosha Khana under assets.

The reference filed under Article 63 of the Constitution sought the disqualification of Imran Khan under Article 62(1)(F).