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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday disallowed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s plea to withdraw his petition challenging the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) verdict in the Toshakhana reference.

A single bench of Chief Justice Aamer Farooq heard the petition of Imran Khan through his counsel Barrister Ali Zafar.

During the hearing, Zafar informed that the matter was already pending before the Lahore High Court (LHC) so he wanted to withdraw the petition. However, the chief justice remarked that the other side had some objections, adding the court would hear the objections first.

Justice Farooq then directed the IHC office to club the miscellaneous application of the PTI chief with his main case. He said the court would hear the petitions together as other respondents would also be in attendance at the next hearing.

Later, the IHC bench adjourned the hearing until January 25.

The PTI chairman has filed an application to withdraw his petition from the IHC due to his pending petition in the LHC against the Toshakhana (gift depository) reference decision.

In the miscellaneous application, he adopted the stance that the LHC had constituted a full bench on the petition against the ECP’s Toshakhana decision. It said the ECP’s October 21 verdict had been challenged before the LHC along with the ECP’s move to strip Imran of party chairmanship.

The application said the LHC full bench would examine all the legal aspects related to both petitions.

In the last hearing, Khan’s counsel Barrister Zafar made the submission before that it was bizarre that the ECP disqualified him for the assets that he legally purchased and lawfully sold.

The counsel had argued that Khan was elected as MNA from NA-95 Mianwali in July 2018 but through an illegal order of the ECP dated 21/10/2022, the ECP disqualified him from this seat under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution. The decision of the speaker to send the reference and order of the ECP is unconstitutional and void ab initio, he submitted.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Kartickrathi Jan 20, 2023 08:34pm
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