- Imran Khan to be released, needs Rs0.1 million bond.
- IHC saves decision on Imran Khan’s Toshakhana case appeal.
- Absence of election commission lawyer might decide case using records.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) made a decision to temporarily suspend the sentence of Imran Khan, the Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), in the Toshakhana case. The court also issued an order for his release, pending certain conditions. Imran Khan has been instructed to provide a surety bond worth Rs0.1 million. The written order from Chief Justice Aamir Farooq is expected to be released shortly.
The IHC had been deliberating on Imran Khan’s plea against his three-year sentence in the Toshakhana case, and the verdict was reserved for Tuesday at 11 am. The proceedings were overseen by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri. During the hearing, arguments were requested from the election commission’s lawyer, Amjad Pervaiz, who was unable to attend the previous session due to health issues. The chief justice had advised Pervaiz to be present for the subsequent hearing, warning that a verdict would be based on available records if he failed to appear.
Imran Khan’s legal team, including prominent lawyers like Latif Khosa, Salman Akram Raja, Gohar Ali Khan, Ali Zafar, and Sher Afzal Marwat, were present during the hearing. Imran Khan’s sisters, Aleema and Uzma Khan, were also in attendance. Barrister Gohar requested a private meeting with his client. The IHC chief justice mentioned that the court would announce its decision on the appeal on the same day.
Amjad Pervaiz, the lawyer representing the election commission, argued that Imran Khan had withheld Toshakhana-related information in his asset details. Pervaiz opposed the suspension of Khan’s sentence and emphasized the need to issue a notice to the public prosecutor, citing the Rahul Gandhi case as a precedent. Pervaiz drew attention to cases like Rahul Gandhi’s, where a private complaint led to a two-year sentence, and the subsequent appeal against the sentence was rejected. He contended that the Criminal Procedure Code doesn’t explicitly state making the complainant a party in a sentence suspension application. Pervaiz further stressed that a hearing should not proceed without notifying the state to hear their side, drawing parallels to the Parvez Elahi case and highlighting the importance of a notice to the public prosecutor. The chief justice noted that, unlike NAB cases, where a complainant is not made a party, only a bureau prosecutor is heard in court.