The Islamabad High Court (IHC) is likely to pronounce its verdict in the Toshakhana case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan for suspending his three-year jail term.
IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri will hear the appeal against PTI chairman’s conviction in the Toshakhana case.
In the last hearing, Latif Khosa argued on the appeals of suspension of sentence and bail, Election Commission’s lawyer Amjad Pervaiz will give more arguments today.
The Supreme Court had adjourned the proceedings in the Toshakhana case till the Islamabad High Court (IHC) decision.
During the hearing on Thursday, PTI chairman’s lawyer Latif Khosa argued before a division bench of the Islamabad High Court comprising Chief Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri and focused on the aspects of Imran Khan’s release due to short sentence, procedural lapses and improper permission by the Election Commission.
Imran Khan’s lawyer argued that the appellate courts can suspend such a short sentence without reviewing the merits of the case. According to Latif Khosa, President Dr Arif Alvi waived the sentences of prisoners on August 14, under which Imran Khan’s three-year sentence has also been reduced by six months.
According to the lawyer, Imran Khan now has to serve a two-and-a-half-year jail term and the Islamabad High Court can suspend the sentence. The trial court did not examine the jurisdiction of the complaint filed by the Election Commission
Latif Khosa said that there were loopholes in jurisdiction in the complaint as the Election Commission had to empower an officer to file a reference. In this case, the Secretary of the Election Commission empowered the District Election Commissioner to lodge a complaint.
He further said that Article 218 defines the Election Commission, which means that the Commission consists of the Chief Election Commissioner and ECP members. In this case, instead of the Chief Election Commissioner or members of the Election Commission, the secretary authorized an officer, so the complaint was filed without permission.
Imran Khan’s lawyer further said in his arguments that the complaint should be filed before the magistrate who will refer the case to the Sessions Court. The Sessions Court cannot directly entertain the complaint.
Khosa also said that the trial court judge “violated the directions of the Islamabad High Court and instead of reviewing the jurisdiction and maintainability of the complaint” sentenced Imran Khan. The Supreme Court also observed that the verdict was delivered in haste.
IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq remarked that additional district and sessions judge Humayun Dilawar, who pronounced the verdict, would look into the matter administratively. After this, Latif Khosa went to the Supreme Court where Imran Khan’s petition was to be heard at 2 pm.
The Supreme Court adjourned the case without any proceedings and said that the matter is still pending in the Islamabad High Court.
Report sought on Imran Khan’s condition in jail:
The Supreme Court directed Attorney General Office to submit an official report on the facilities provided to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan in Attock Jail.
Elder sisters of the former prime minister Aleema Khan and Dr. Uzma Khan were also present in courtroom number one, while senior lawyers of the Election Commission were also present.
The Islamabad High Court adjourned the hearing of the case till Friday [today], after which the Supreme Court asked to wait for the final decision of the high court.
Lower courts are not subordinate:
Justice Jamal Khan Mandukhel emphasized that high courts or civil courts are not subordinate to the Supreme Court.
Stating that they are independent and their independence should be respected, he stressed that respect for both the bench and the bar depended on each other.