Legal cases against the former premier and Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan are mounting as an Islamabad session court has decided to frame charges on Khan and indict him in the Tosha Khana reference on February 7.
As per details of the case proceedings, the Islamabad session court maintained that Khan failed to share any details of the gifts he retained from the Tosha Khana and proceeds from their reported sales were filed and submitted by the lawmakers of the then ruling government.
The Tosha Khana reference is the same which was concluded by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), judging that the PTI Chief had made “false statements and incorrect declarations” about the gifts he retained from Tosha Khana. It was the reason why Khan was disqualified by the ECP under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution of Pakistan, under which he stood disqualified till the next elections.
Tosha Khana is a department that comes under the Cabinet Division that keeps gifts given to rulers and government officials by heads of other governments and foreign dignitaries.
In view of the judgment issued by the ECP, the Islamabad session court was approached by the ECP, seeking criminal proceedings initiation for allegedly misleading officials about the gifts he received from foreign dignitaries during his tenure as the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
As per details of the court proceedings on Tuesday, Additional session judge Zafar Iqbal asked PTI lawyer Ali Bukhari to submit Khan’s power of attorney. However, the ECP counsel advocate Saad Hasan maintained that the power of attorney couldn’t be presented until Khan appears before the court in person.
The PTI Chief’s medical certificate was submitted in the court along with a request seeking exemption from the proceedings.
Subsequently, the judge directed Imran Khan to submit surely bonds worth Rs.20,000 and gave out directions to him to ensure that he appears before the court during the next hearing.
The Tosha Khana case has been one of the biggest legal challenges for Khan as gifts process of retention of various gifts, including a one-of-its-kind watch, gifted to him by Saudi Arabia Prime Minister and crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman became the centre of debate as Khan had sold off the gifts ahead.
This became a reason for major criticism by his Opposition and current ruling coalition government under Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who slammed Khan for disrespecting his position as premier and bringing embarrassment upon the whole country by illegally retaining gifts from Tosha Khan and selling them off.
Analysts believe that the prohibited funding case and the Tosha Khana case are the two main big legal challenges for Khan, that may lead to his disqualification, not only from the election race, but also from his seat at the PTI Chairman in the coming days.