News Brief

No Relief To Imran Khan In Toshakhana Corruption Case As Pakistan Supreme Court Returns Plea Against 3-Year Conviction

Nishtha Anushree

Dec 24, 2023, 12:33 PM | Updated 12:33 PM IST

Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan.
Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan.

The Supreme Court office in Pakistan has reportedly returned an appeal that aimed to overturn the three-year conviction of former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Toshakhana corruption case, as per a media update on Sunday (24 December).

On 23 December, the registrar's office sent back the appeal filed by 71-year-old Khan, represented by his lawyer Latif Khosa. The appeal, made under Article 185 of the Constitution, contested the Islamabad High Court's (IHC) decision from December 11, 2023, to dismiss a similar appeal due to missing requirements. These included the absence of actual controversies or a timeline of previous litigation.

The appeal was submitted, requesting to reverse Khan's conviction on August 5 by an additional sessions judge from the IHC for the unlawful sale of state gifts, as reported by Dawn News.

The allegations in the Toshakhana case are based on the claim that the former premier breached the rules of the Toshakhana, or state repository.

Every present bestowed upon Pakistani senior leaders by foreign dignitaries during their visits is stored in the Toshakhana.

However, the appeal was sent back by the registrar's office due to numerous shortcomings, such as the lack of a concise statement.

Besides the current prerequisites, the petition should include the actual dispute or sequence of events in the litigation, along with the conclusions documented by the lower courts.

In addition, the petition must include questions that necessitate deliberation and resolution by the Supreme Court. It should also present pertinent facts, occurrences, and documents related to the case that demonstrate a violation of legal rights or a legitimate claim to relief.

Similarly, an advocate of the Supreme Court should sign the succinct statement in the petition. Furthermore, the petitioner has failed to notify the respondents about the submission of the petition by not issuing them notices.

As a result, the court office gave back the original petition to the petitioner's lawyers, instructing them to rectify the shortcomings within a two-week period, no later than January 6, 2024.

The claim made in the petition was that the petitioner had submitted a request for the suspension of their three-year sentence in conjunction with the primary appeal. This case was brought to the attention of the IHC for a hearing on August 28.

During the debates, a plea was submitted to the supreme court to halt the execution of the sentence.

The petitioner contested the sentence, alleging that it was marred by jurisdictional flaws, as stated in the petition.

The Pakistan Election Commission (ECP) on August 8, issued a disqualification notice to the appellant under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution, without providing the petitioner a chance to be heard.

The recent modifications to the Elections Act 2017 have shortened the disqualification period under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution from a lifetime ban to just five years.

The appeal argued that the petitioner, who was incarcerated at the time, was never informed about the ECP notification.

The petition contended that efforts were underway to remove the symbol of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and exclude it from the electoral field, as reported by Dawn.

The politician, who was formerly a cricketer, was found guilty and apprehended on August 5, but was later granted bail by the Islamabad High Court. Despite this, his release has been delayed due to his involvement in additional cases.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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