ISLAMABAD: As an additional district and sessions court on Tuesday resumed proceedings on a complaint filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for concealing Toshakhana gifts, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan skipped the hearing, with his lawyer seeking another exemption for the former premier’s personal appearance in the case.
Mr Khan has engaged a team of senior lawyers comprising Khawaja Haris Ahmed, Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, Barrister Gohar Ali Khan and Advocate Ali Bukhari to contest the ECP complaint in Toshakhana case.
When Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Zafar Iqbal took up the matter, Barrister Khan submitted an application seeking exemption for the PTI’s chief’s personal appearance in the case. The judge reminded him that the court was scheduled to indict Mr Khan and this could not have been done in his absence.
Larger bench formed to hear matter related to concealment of daughter
However, the counsel argued that Mr Khan was unable to appear before the court on health grounds. He also complained that the ECP had not provided certified copies of the complaint to them.
The ECP’s counsel, on the other hand, objected to filing of power of attorney of the lawyers in the absence of Mr Khan.
When the court inquired from Mr Khan’s counsel the exact date when the PTI chief might appear to enable the court to indict him, the lawyer did not give a specific date and replied that the ex-premier would appear as soon as his health improved.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Interior Attaullah Tarar on Tuesday demanded the apex court to ensure hearing of cases against the PTI chief on a day-to-day basis as Mr Khan was “using delaying tactics instead of facing the trial”.
He told a presser that Mr Khan was scared of facing cases and imprisonment as he had allegedly been involved in crimes of stealing gifts from Toshakhana and other resources. He said Mr Khan did not appear even through the video link. During trials against the PML-N leadership in the past, Mr Tarar said, hearing of cases used to be conducted on a day-to-day basis.
A larger bench of the IHC has been constituted to hear a petition seeking Imran Khan’s disqualification for concealing his alleged daughter in his nomination forms submitted to contest 2018 general election.
Tyrian White was allegedly born out of wedlock to Mr Khan’s former lover, Sita White.
The larger bench comprising IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Arbab Mohammad Tahir will take up the petition on Feb 9.
Chief Justice Farooq decided to constitute the larger bench during the hearing of a petition filed by one Sajid Mehmood.
In his petition, Mr Mehmood claimed that Mr Khan had made arrangements for upkeep of his alleged daughter, Tyrian White, in the United Kingdom, but he did not disclose it in the nomination papers and affidavits he had filed for contesting 2018 elections.
The petitioner also annexed the affidavit of Mr Khan and Jemima Khan containing a declaration dated Nov 18, 2004. The identical affidavits executed in Lahore and London by Mr Khan and Jemima Khan, respectively, stated, “I made this declaration in support of the petition of Tyrian Jade Khan White to have Caroline White (sister of Ana-Luisa Sita White, the mother of Tyrian) appointed as guardian for Tyrian”.
Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2023
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