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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC), Thursday, reserved its verdict in Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan’s petition seeking suspension of the trial court’s verdict in the Toshakhana case.

A division bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri heard the petition and after hearing the arguments of Imran’s counsel Sardar Latif Khosa and Amjad Pervez advocate representing the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), reserved the verdict.

During the hearing, Khosa argued that the ECP was in such haste that it issued the disqualification notification on August 8 while the trial court had announced the sentence on August 5.

He added that the order on the basis of which, the ECP disqualified his client had already suspended.

He requested the court to suspend the verdict as the general elections are going to be held on February 8 and the rights of his client are being affected due to this notification of disqualification.

The counsel continued that in case the verdict is not suspended then the basic rights of Imran will be affected due to his disqualification. He further said that if his sentence is not suspended then it will affect the political resulting in serious consequences.

In this regard, he also mentioned different court verdicts while he also submitted his written arguments.

In response to his arguments, the ECP lawyer opposed the suspension of the trial court’s verdict in the Toshakhana case. He submitted that the petition is not maintainable and they did not give the reference to the court’s verdicts when the court decided their another application in this connection. He also requested the court to grant two-week time for preparation of arguments.

However, the court directed him to submit the details of reference of court verdicts in support to his arguments. At this, Khosa requested the court to decide the case the same day.

The IHC chief justice remarked that the court would decide the matter after reviewing the details of the references of courts verdicts of the ECP’s counsel.

Imran Khan in the petition, prayed to the court that instant application may be allowed and while exercising the powers under Section 561-4 C.P.C. the omission of not recording the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner with regard to the suspension of the impugned judgment dated 05.08.2023 may be rectified and “in consequence whereof, operation of the impugned judgment dated 05.08.2823 may very graciously be ordered to be suspended/stayed till final decision of the appeal in the interest of justice.”

He also prayed that he may be allowed to array/ implead “The State” as party/Respondent No 2 in the memo of appeal and he may also be allowed to file amended memo of appeal accordingly.

In the plea, the counsel contended that they had requested the IHC to completely suspend the trial court verdict that had convicted his client in the Toshakhana case. However, he added that the IHC in its August 28 verdict onlysuspended the sentence of the PTI chief and not the trial court’s order.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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