ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday suspended PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s three-year sentence in the Toshakhana case and ordered to release him on bail.
The IHC chief justice announced the reserved verdict on the former prime minister’s appeal against his prison term.
Pakistan’s former cricket star was jailed by a lower court this month after he was found guilty of unlawfully selling watches and other gifts that he acquired during his tenure as PM but failed to show in assets.
On Monday, a two-member bench of the IHC, comprising Chief Justice (CJ) Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, reserved the verdict on the appeal filed by Imran Khan.
Earlier, the court adjourned the hearing till today and ordered the ECP counsel to present arguments. PTI lawyer, Latif Khosa, finished his arguments in the last hearing.
A trial court convicted the former cricket star in the case filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that involved hiding details of state gifts and sentenced him to three years in jail. Imran subsequently filed an appeal in the high court against his conviction and also approached the Supreme Court against the IHC’s decision to send the case back to the trial court judge who had convicted him.
in the verdict, judge Humayun Dilawar said account of the accused former PM Imran Khan bearing no.3256 was reflecting only one single large deposit of Rs.30 million during the period 22-01-2019 to 30-06-2019.
"During scrutiny, the accused could not establish the amount of Rs.58 million deposited in the Bank Alfalah. During proceedings before the election commission, the accused neither disclosed the name of the buyer nor produced any receipt.
"The referred facts show that the accused furnished false declaration and false statement before the Election Commission of Pakistan. The accused took the stance that he had further gifted the said gifts to someone, did not mention the name of the person to whom the gift was made.
"Similarly, he did not mention the cost value of the gifts. It has been established that the accused has furnished false statements and false declarations to the Election Commission and Form-B for the year 2019/2020. In 2020/2021, he did not mention the details of the gifts in Form-B.
It is astonishing that the accused and his wife who remained First Lady have no jewellery. At this point, the complainant's counsel referred to reply of question no 25 that assessed value of "Toshakhana" gifts in question was Rs.107 million and the accused deposited about Rs.21.5 million.
The accused referred to a list at page no 11 and maintained that he procured these gifts of Rs.107 million in consideration of Rs.21.5 million and sold them in consideration of Rs.58 million. However, this figure has not been mentioned in Form-B.
The accused was under the obligation to mention the assessed value of the gifts; however even the sale proceeds are not mentioned in Form-B for the year 2018-2019. The accused has not mentioned the said jewellery despite the fact that a particular column is provided in the Form-B.
It is established beyond any doubt that the accused while filing his Form - B had made false declarations of his assets. It is again admitted by the accused in his defence statement that relevant assets / items were not disclosed in the Form - B.
Thus, the accused being dishonest and deceitful, made false declarations in his Forms - B for the financial years 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, and thereby committed the offence of Corrupt Practice under Section 167(a) read with Section 173 of the Election Act, 2017. The accused has committed offense of corrupt practices by making and publishing false statements/declaration in respect of assets acquired by way of gifts from Toshakhana and disposed of during the years 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.
He has been found guilty of corrupt practices by hiding the benefits he accrued from national exchequer wilfully and intentionally. He cheated while providing information about gifts he obtained from Toshakhana which later proved to be false and inaccurate.
His dishonesty has been established beyond doubt. Accordingly, the accused is convicted under section 174 of The Election Act 2017, and sentenced to three years of simple imprisonment with fine of Rs.100,000. And in case of default, he shall also suffer six months of simple imprisonment.
More to follow...
Pakistani currency remained largely stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 20, 2024 (Tuesday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.05 for buying and 282.1 for selling.
On Tuesday, Euro stands at 301 for buying and 304 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.4 for buying, and 355.4 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.55 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.2.
|UK Pound Sterling
|Hong Kong Dollar
|New Zealand Dollar