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ECP reserves judgment in Imran Khan’s Toshakhana case

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Pakistan Election Commission building in Islamabad. Picture file

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday reserved its verdict in the Toshakhana case filed against former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

After hearing the arguments, a five-member bench of the ECP, led by chief election commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, reserved its decision, but a judgment date has yet to be announced.

At the start of today’s hearing, Ali Zafar, Imran Khan’s lawyer, admitted that his client sold at least four gifts he received in 2018-2019.

Toshakana Gifts

The gifts were sold for Rs58 million and their receipts were attached to the tax returns filed by my client, ECP’s lawyer informed.

He maintained that they had provided details of the giveaways through 2021 in the written response submitted to the electorate.

The ECP carries out a review if the body has doubts about details, but in this case the electoral body has raised no objections, argued the PTI lawyer.

In 2019-20, Imran Khan received gifts worth Rs 1.7 million, the lawyer told ECP.

A member of the ECP inquired about the source of income to obtain donations from the public treasury.

To this, the lawyer said they would not give them the details.

The reference

In August 2022, Speaker of the National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf sent a reference to the ECP under Articles 62A, 63A and 223, requesting the disqualification of former Prime Minister Imran Khan in light of the scam by Toshakhana.

The disqualification reference was filed by Ali Gohar Khan, PMLNs Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha and five others.

The 28-page reference identified 52 Toshakhana gifts received by former Prime Minister Imran, violating law and rules, taken away at nominal prices and most of the gifts were sold in the market, including valuable watches.

The estimated value of the gifts was set at Rs 142,042,100. The donations were received between August 2018 and December 2021.

According to PML-N MP Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha, Imran Khan concealed information about the donation of watches by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in his wealth declaration submitted in 2018-2019.

This withholding of information amounts to a lie which MP Mohsin Ranjha says is a crime under Article 137 declaring Imran Khan no longer Sadiq and Ameen, slapping lifetime disqualification from running for office under Section 62(1)(f) , Section 2, Section 3 of the Constitution.

Section 62(1)(f) is the same legal instrument that disqualified former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from running for office and led to his removal from power, Ranjha said.

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