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Islamabad court adjourns Toshakhana case as PTI chief's exemption plea accepted

Islamabad court adjourns Toshakhana case as PTI chief's exemption plea accepted


IHC has directed the trial court to decide the case within seven days

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – A district and sessions court in the federal capital summoned the PTI chairman in personal capacity as hearing of the Toshakhana case was adjourned till Friday (tomorrow). 

Additional Session Judge Humayun Dilawar also ordered the former prime minister’s main lawyer, Khawaja Harris, to appear before the court.

At the outset of the hearing, PTI lawyer Gohar Ali Khan submitted a plea seeking exemption from appearance for the party chairman. Gohar Ali told the judge that his client was to appear before the Lahore High Court (LHC) on June 6 and requested him to fix any date for hearing of the case after July 10. 

Judge Dilawar said the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had ordered to decide the case within seven days. Later, the PTI lawyer assured the court that his client would appear before it on Friday. The judge adjourned the case till July 7.

The sessions court had fixed the case for hearing for July 6 after the Islamabad High Court (IHC), earlier this week, nullified the decision of the trial court that had turned down the PTI chairman’s plea challenging the admissibility of the Toshakhana case.

IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq had announced the verdict reserved on June 23 after hearing arguments on the petition of the former prime minister against the trial court’s ruling. 

The chief justice had sent the matter back to the trial court, ordering it to again hear the arguments of the PTI. He had given the trial court seven days to decide the PTI chairman's plea in the Toshakhana case. 

The petition had been filed after the PTI chief was indicted in the case on May 10 -. two days after the high court had stopped criminal proceedings in the Toshakhana case.

On May 5, Islamabad’s Additional Sessions Judge Humayun Dilawar had announced that charges would be framed against the PTI chairman on May 10 in the Toshakhana case.

During the hearing, the former PM’s lawyer had argued on two pleas, stating that the ECP's petition was "non-maintainable" and that the sessions court did not have the jurisdiction to hear the matter.

However, the judge rejected both the requests and summoned the PTI chief in person for the indictment.

On May 10, Judge Humayun Dilawar indicted him during court proceedings that were held at the guest house of the Police Lines headquarters at H-11.

For security reasons, the commissioner's office had given the status of court to the Police Lines. When the court indicted him in the Toshakhana case, he refused to sign the documents while denying the crime. 

The Case 

Last year, a reference was filed against him by lawmakers from the ruling coalition accusing him of not sharing the details of gifts he retained from Toshakhana in his assets declarations and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had concluded in October last year that the PTI chief filed false statements regarding the gifts. 

The electoral watchdog subsequently disqualified him for being dishonest and corrupt and approached the district and sessions court seeking criminal proceedings against the PTI chief for allegedly misleading officials about the gifts.