PTI Chief Imran Khan Disqualified For Five Years After Toshakahana Verdict

Imran Khan was disqualified for five years and de-seated from NA-45 Kurram-I, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

Imran Khan, the deposed prime minister, was arrested and sent to the famed Attock jail on Saturday. Hours after a trial court in Islamabad sentenced him to three years. It fined him Rs 100,000 for falsely claiming his assets to the elections monitoring body.

Imran Khan disqualified from holding office for five years, Pakistan's  election commission rules | CNN
Source: CNN

 “This court finds it more than convincing that the complainant [ECP] has provided confidence-inspiring, well-knitted and corroborated evidence, and so the charge against the accused has successfully been proven,” the judge said in his 30-page verdict issued after a relatively speedy trial initiated on a criminal complaint of the ECP.

Imran Khan Disqualified For Five Years

According to the trial court, Imran Khan claimed “four goats” as his assets on Form-B for the fiscal year 2018-2019. But failed to reveal the acquisition of costly presents from the state’s gift repository—Toshakhana—and their sale to other persons.

Imran Khan: The cricket hero bowled out as Pakistan's PM - BBC News
Source: BBC

Every legislator is required to submit Form B to the ECP once a year. This form declares a legislator’s assets and obligations, including moveable and immovable property in and outside Pakistan.

Imran Khan engaged in “corrupt practices” by creating and publicizing false disclosures about assets. He received as presents from the Toshakhana during the fiscal years 2018-2019, 2019-2020, and 2020-21.

Found Guilty

“He has been found guilty of corrupt practices by hiding the benefits he accrued from the national exchequer willfully and intentionally. He cheated while providing information about the gifts he obtained from Toshakhana, which later proved false and inaccurate.

Pakistan Court Adjourns Ex-PM Imran Khan's Disqualification Case - Bloomberg
Source: Bloomberg

“His dishonesty has been established beyond doubt,” the order said.

Interestingly, the trial court issued its verdict a day after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) remanded the matter of maintainability of the ECP’s complaint back to the trial court for “decision afresh.”

Constitution Section 232

The ECP referenced the August 5 court ruling in a statement released Tuesday, declaring the PTI ineligible under Article 63(1)(h) of the Constitution and Section 232 of the Elections Act, 2017.

“Therefore, Mr. Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi is disqualified for five years and de-notified as a returned candidate from constituency NA-45 Kurram-I.”

PROFILE - Imran Khan, Pakistan's another 'disqualified' premier
Source: Anadolu

Earlier in the day, a plea was filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) appealing a trial court’s judgment in the Toshakhana (gift repository) case against Imran Khan.

On the former premier’s behalf, attorneys Khawaja Haris and Barrister Gohar Ali Khan submitted the application. “The decision of the trial court in the Toshakhana case is against the law,” read the petition for the verdict to be overturned.

Court Has Been Criticized

Conversely, legal experts in Pakistan have raised grave concerns about the trial court’s handling of the Toshakhana case, highlighting the apparent contempt for due process and the deterioration of democracy due to such rulings.

Ousted Pakistan PM Imran Khan can contest elections: Islamabad High Court -  The Hindu
Source: The Hindu

While legal experts refrained from commenting on the precise circumstances that led to former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s conviction. Their worries focused on procedural defects in the court’s processes and their catastrophic consequences.

They chastised the court for what they saw as a “hurried and compromised decision. ” Arguing that the finding matched prior claims made by Imran’s attorneys about the IHC’s hurried processes.

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