- Former PM had earlier secured bail in the ECP protests and prohibited funding cases
An Islamabad district and sessions court on Tuesday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case. However, he had earlier received bail in the prohibited funding and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) protests cases.
According to Aaj News, the Islamabad court had asked Imran to appear before 3:15 pm in the Toshakhana case, and issued the warrant upon his failure to appear. The court also adjourned the case to March 7.
Imran was set to be indicted in the Toshakhana case today, but his lawyer requested the court that he be exempted from the hearing because he had to appear in several other courts. His indictment was deferred twice before.
Moreover, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) granted Imran bail in the attempted murder case as well.
Earlier in the day, Imran arrived in Islamabad’s Judicial Complex along with party leaders to appear in courts for four different cases pertaining to prohibited funding, terrorism, Toshakhana, and attempted murder.
In the prohibited funding case, a banking court approved bail for Imran while an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) approved protective bail for him in a case related to ECP protests.
Imran appeared before a court in the prohibited funding case filed by the state through the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), in which he has received bail. The petition was filed by the FIA’s Corporate Banking Circle in which suspects were alleged to be violating the Foreign Exchange Act.
The FIR read that PTI had an account in a private bank abroad and the manager of the bank has also been included in the case. The FIR mentioned that the bank account was created in the name of ‘Naya Pakistan’.
Imran also appeared before a court in a terrorism case filed against him in October 2022 at Islamabad’s Sangjani Police Station after PTI workers took to the streets and held demonstrations outside ECP offices in the capital city. In this case, an ATC has granted him protective bail.
PML-N MNA Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha had lodged a complaint alleging that a shot fired by KP policeman outside the ECP on Constitution Avenue on Oct 21, 2022 was “an attempt on his life” allegedly at the behest of Imran.
The PTI chairman is now also due to appear in a case filed against him by the ECP alleging that Imran had not shared details of the gifts he retained from the Toshaskhana and proceeds from their reported sales.
On Monday, a local court approved Imran’s plea seeking exemption from personal appearance before it for one day after demonstrations were held following his disqualification by ECP in the Toshakhana case.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, while hearing the case, rejected another application of the PTI chief seeking a transfer of hearing of the case to a judicial complex due to security reasons.
Khan’s lawyer Babar Awan filed two petitions, seeking an exemption for the PTI chief from the hearing for one day and a transfer of the hearing scheduled in the district court to the banking court.
Awan, while arguing before the court, said that his client will come to the city on Tuesday (today) for appearing before the banking court. He said there had been a security alert in the district courts and Khan had to appear in the same court. He requested the court to hear the case at the judicial complex.
The judge said that it has never happened in judicial history that he should have heard a case in another court.
LHC approves Imran Khan’s protective bail plea
On February 20, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had granted protective bail to the former prime minister till March 3 in the ECP protests case.
A case was filed against Imran after party workers took to the streets and held demonstrations outside ECP offices across Pakistan after the ECP disqualified Imran in the Toshakhana case.
Prohibited Funding case
In August 2022, the ECP announced its verdict on the prohibited funding case against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
A three-member bench led by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja announced the judgment. In its verdict, the ECP said that PTI did indeed receive prohibited funding and kept 13 bank accounts hidden.
“The data obtained from SBP reveals that all the 13 accounts disowned by PTI were opened and operated by the senior PTI management and leadership at the Central and Provincial levels.
In August 2022, a reference was filed against Imran by the government, for “not sharing details” of Toshakhana gifts and proceeds from their alleged sale.
Khan, in the reply, disclosed that some 329 official gifts were received when the PTI was in the federal government. He further stated that out of these gifts, 58 were received by him and his wife, and only 14 of these gifts were valued at more than 14,000 rupees each.
The former PM further maintained that all the details of the gifts he lawfully bought from Toshakhana were duly declared at the relevant forums including the tax returns (filed with the Federal Board of Revenue) and the wealth statements (filed with the ECP).
Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution of Pakistan provides that a person shall not be qualified to be elected or chosen as a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) unless he is “sagacious, righteous and non-profligate and honest and Ameen”.