Pakistan Supreme Court returns appeal against conviction of former PM Imran Khan

The cricketer-turned-politician was convicted on August 5 and arrested but the Islamabad High Court granted him bail.

December 24, 2023 12:15 pm | Updated 12:15 pm IST - Islamabad

A view of the Pakistan Supreme Court.

A view of the Pakistan Supreme Court. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Pakistan’s Supreme Court office has returned an appeal seeking to set aside the three-year conviction of former prime minister Imran Khan in the Toshakhana corruption case, according to a media report on December 24.

The registrar’s office on December 23 returned the appeal moved by 71-year-old Khan through his counsel Latif Khosa under Article 185 of the Constitution, challenging December 11, 2023, Islamabad High Court (IHC) decision of rejecting a similar plea for lacking requirements, including the absence of actual controversies or chronology of the past litigation.

The petition was filed with a plea to overturn the August 5 conviction of Mr. Khan by an additional sessions judge of the IHC for illegally selling state gifts, Dawn News reported.

The Toshakhana case is based on the allegations that the the former premier violated the Toshakhana or state repository rules.

All gifts given by foreign leaders to Pakistani top leaders on their trips are kept in the Toshakhana.

The registrar’s office, however, returned the appeal with observations that the same was suffering from several deficiencies, like the concise statement.

In addition to the existing requirements, the petition should contain actual controversy or chronology of the litigation as well as the findings recorded by the forums below.

Moreover, the petition should contain questions requiring consideration and decision by the Supreme Court, relevant facts, events and documents in the case showing a breach of legal rights/entitlement to relief.

Likewise, the concise statement in the petition should be signed by an advocate of the Supreme Court. Besides, the petitioner has not informed the respondents by issuing notices to them about the filing of the petition.

Consequently, the court office returned the petition to the petitioner lawyers in original for removal of the deficiencies within a fortnight by January 6, 2024.

The petition argued that the petitioner had moved an application for the suspension of the three-year sentence with the main appeal which came up for hearing before the IHC on August 28.

During the arguments, a request was made to the high court to suspend the operation of the sentence.

The sentence was challenged by the petitioner, the petition claimed, since it suffered from jurisdictional defects.

On August 8, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued a notification to disqualify the appellant under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution, without even giving the petition an opportunity of being heard.

Under the recent amendments to the Elections Act 2017, the period of disqualification under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution has been reduced to five years from the earlier life term.

The petition pleaded that the ECP notification was never communicated to the petitioner who at that time was behind bars.

The petition argued that attempts were being made to take away the symbol of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as well and throw it out of the election arena, according to Dawn.

The cricketer-turned-politician was convicted on August 5 and arrested but the Islamabad High Court granted him bail. However, he has not been released due to his arrest in some other cases.

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