ISLAMABAD: The Isla­mabad High Court (IHC) constituted a larger bench on Thursday to hear a petition seeking disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan for concealing his alleged daughter Tyrian Jade White in his nomination papers submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in 2018.

Chief Justice Aamer Farooq referred to the larger bench a petition filed by Sajid Mehmood claiming that although Imran Khan had made arrangements for Tyrian White’s upkeep in the United Kingdom, he did not disclose it in nomination papers and affidavits filed by him for contesting the 2018 elections.

The bench will hear the petition on Feb 9.

Salman Akram Raja, Imran Khan’s counsel, had submitted his reply to the court on Wednesday. It contended that the petition was not maintainable as Imran Khan is no more a parliamentarian.

Salman Raja stated that IHC had earlier dism­issed a petition seeking Imran Khan’s disqualification for the same reason, adding that Justice Farooq had recused himself from hearing the previous petition.

Mr Raja was not present when the court resumed hearing of the petition.

His associate lawyer informed the IHC that since Salman Akram Raja was in the Supreme Court, he was unable to appear before the IHC.

The chief justice noted that Mr Khan had raised an objection that he had recused himself from hearing an identical petition.

He clarified that the earlier petition, filed by Abdul Wahab Baloch, was fixed for hearing before a division bench. The incumbent chief justice was part of that bench and the counsel for the petitioner reques­ted transfer of the case to an­­ot­h­­­er bench. Therefore, there was no recusal for personal reasons, the CJ added.

Published in Dawn, February 3rd, 2023

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