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SC disposes of PTI chief's plea against Toshakhana trial

SC disposes of PTI chief's plea against Toshakhana trial


Justice Hasan Azhar Rizvi has replaced Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi in the bench

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The Supreme Court on Friday disposed of the petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman against his trial in the Toshakhana case.

The newly-formed bench, headed Justice Yahya Afridi and comprising Justice Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Musarrat Hilali issued the ruling, directing the former prime minister to wait for the decision of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which is expected to be announced today (Friday).

During the hearing, PTI lawyer Khawaja Harris requested the court to stop the trial court from issuing the ruling in the Toshakhana case filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for not declaring the gifts in his asset declarations.

At which, the ECP lawyer said the trial court could not release the final decision until the high court issued the verdict. Justice Yahya, at this point, remarked that the PTI chief should wait for the IHC verdict and disposed of his petition.

This is the second time the PTI chief has moved the apex court against the Toshakhana case. Last week, a two-member bench, headed by Justice Yahya Afridi, had turned down a petition filed by him seeking an order to restrain trial in the Toshakhana case.

The bench had sent the case back to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to re-examine it.

The former prime minister had petitioned the apex court against the IHC's directive to the trial court that had asked for a re-examination of the maintainability of the Toshakhana case within a week.

On May 10, the PTI chief was indicted in the case by Additional District and Sessions Judge Humayun Dilawar who dismissed objections to the admissibility of the case.

On July 4, the IHC nullified the decision of the trial court that had turned down the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman’s plea challenging the admissibility of the Toshakhana case.

IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq 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 sent the matter back to the trial court, ordering it to again hear the arguments of the PTI. He gave 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 case.

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.