Tyrian White case verdict takes twist minutes after judgment

In the Tyrian White case against former prime minister Imran Khan, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday experienced unprecedented drama when the majority judgement by Justices Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Arbab Tahir dismissing the petition was removed from the court’s website minutes after it was uploaded.

A new bench will now be formed to hear the case.

The writ petition was deemed “not maintainable from the very inception” according to the majority judgement, which was written by Justice Kayani and signed by Justice Tahir.

In the earlier judgment the petitioner’s actions in bringing the petition were condemned, with the statement that “the petitioner should have been mindful of the fact that the court is not a tool to be used by surrogates motivated for extraneous consideration.”

On April 30, a petition seeking Imran’s disqualification for hiding his alleged daughter Tyrian White in his nomination forms submitted to run in the 2018 general election was heard by a three-judge larger bench made up of IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, and Judge Arbab Muhammad Tahir.

Justice Kayani had included two “office notes” in the judgement that was posted to the court’s website. The first note, dated May 2, said that Justice Kayani had received “a draught judgement” from Chief Justice Farooq, to which the latter had not given his or her consent. As a result, according to Justice Kayani, he wrote a separate decision that was concurred in by Justice Tahir and submitted for publication by May 3.

The majority decision was “transmitted” to the chief justice along with a note to schedule the matter for announcement on May 3, according to Justice Kayani’s second letter, dated May 9.

Even yet, the case hasn’t been posted yet, according to Justice Kayani, who also stated that “speculations were widely shared on social media regarding [the] judgement.”

Any further delay in releasing the judgement “could cause aspersion on the outcome of the case and impugn the confidentiality and integrity of the court process and public from the independence of the court,” he warned. He instructed the registrar to “release the judgement of two-member bench today, i.e. 09.05.2023, by all means and submit a compliance report forthwith.”