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Indictment deferred after Imran Khan skips Toshakhana case hearing

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  • PTI chief’s lawyer files exemption plea on health grounds.
  • ECP directed to provide attested copies of evidence, complaint.
  • Lawyers of PTI and ECP engage in verbal duel.

ISLAMABAD: A sessions court in the federal capital Tuesday deferred the indictment of former prime minister Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief skipped today’s hearing citing health reasons.

Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal pronounced the verdict reserved earlier in the day after the PTI chief filed a fresh petition seeking exemption from personal appearance.

Accepting the plea, the judge directed the legal team of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to provide attested copies of the evidence and complaint. A new date for the framing of charges will be announced later.

The reference was filed by the ECP in November last year, praying the court to proceed against the PTI chief under criminal law for allegedly misleading officials about the gifts he received from foreign dignitaries during his tenure as prime minister.

The ECP had requested that the PTI chief be convicted for the offences mentioned under sections 167 (corrupt practice) and 173 (making or publishing a false statement or declaration) of the Elections Act 2017.

It added that as per the record, the state gifts were purchased from the Toshakhana for Rs21.5 million on the basis of their assessed value, while they were valued at around Rs108 million.

On January 31, the judge had directed the PTI chairman to submit surety bonds of Rs20,000 to ensure his appearance today for indictment in the case.

Today’s hearing

At the outset of today’s hearing, the PTI’s legal team filed a petition on behalf of Imran Khan seeking exemption from personal appearance citing health reasons.

The PTI chairman is recuperating from wounds he sustained in a gun attack on November 3 during a rally.

The judge asked the PTI lawyer about the surety bonds. To this, he informed the court that they had submitted the bonds a day earlier.

“How can we frame charges if exemption pleas are filed again and again?” the judge asked.

Imran Khan’s lawyer, Barrister Ali Zafar, argued that they had not been provided attested copies of the evidence and complaint.

At this, ECP’s lawyer said that they had provided the said documents in front of the court. However, the judge directed the lawyer to ensure that all the required material is provided to the defence.

During the proceedings, the ECP lawyer asked, “Why did Imran Khan not appear before the court?”

“We have seen him dancing on the container.”

At this, Zafar warned the ECP representative from making such statements.

He also requested the court to fix any date after February 15 for an appearance.

“Give us a date when Imran Khan will appear” the judge inquired.

“He will come if he is able to,” the counsel responded.

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Today, IHC will hear Qureshi, the founder of PTI,’s arguments against his conviction in the CCI case.

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The PTI founder and Shah Mehmood Qureshi will appeal their convictions in the cipher case to the Islamabad High Court today (Tuesday).

The hearing will be conducted by a division bench that consists of Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Chief Justice Aamir Farooq of the Islamabad High Court.

The attorneys will present their arguments regarding the appeals against the sentencing during the hearing.

However, Bushra Bibi, the wife of the PTI founder, has filed a petition to have her medical examined, and this plea will also be heard today.

Bushra Bibi’s application will be considered by Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb. The petitioner has voiced her concern that the food she was provided was toxic.

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CM Maryam wants a thorough plan for the development of Murree.

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While co-chairing a meeting with party leader Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif asked for a detailed strategy for the development of Murree.

To maintain cleanliness and protect the environment, the chief minister ordered a ban on plastic use in Murree and other popular tourist destinations.

She inspected a possible location in Murree for the building of a cutting-edge hospital. In addition to looking for a plan for the upkeep and filtration of the current water scheme, she gave her general approval to a water supply project that would carry water from the Jhelum River to Murree.

During the discussion, a prohibition on cars entering Murree was discussed. Maryam gave the order for the contemporary tram and cable car services to begin operating so that parking could be done safely in Murree. During the meeting, a plan to give permit cards to cars entering Murree was also discussed.

The chief minister gave instructions to make sure every building has parking. She gave the order to locate any illegal structures in Murree and to dismantle them right away. Additionally, the ultimate strategy for removing encroachments in Murree was accepted. In addition to banning all unlicensed stands in Murree, it was decided to turn the bus stand back on.

Maryam Nawaz gave the order to turn New Murree, Kotli Sattian, and other nearby places into substitute tourist attractions.

She gave the order to build clean, highway-style restrooms in Murree.

She also gave her approval for the creation of the Parks and Horticulture Authority for Murree, as well as Solid Waste Management.

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ATC revokes the arrest warrants for Khadija Shah

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In relation to the arson case at Jinnah House, the anti-terrorism court issued an arrest order for her.

Judge Arshad Javed issued an arrest order for Khadijah Shah because of his non-appearance in court.

After being granted bail by a local Quetta court, she was released from prison on December 28.

In relation to attacks on Jinnah House, Askari Tower, and setting police cars on fire, she was taken into custody.

In connection with a cybercrime case in which she posted messages on social media to incite people against the army during the May 9 unrest, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) also made an arrest of her.

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