• Tue. Jan 31st, 2023

LHC fixes petitions for hearing on Imran Khan’s disqualification

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan gestures in this undated photo. — AFP/File
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan gestures in this undated photo. — AFP/File
  • LHC will hear two separate petitions about Khan’s disqualification.
  • Three-member bench will take up the pleas on January 9.
  • One of the pleas seeks his removal as PTI chairman. 

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday fixed the hearing of two separate petitions relating to the disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.

A three-member bench of the LHC — headed by Chief Justice Muhammad Amir Bhatti and comprising Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh and Justice Sajid Mehmood Sethi — will hear the pleas on January 9, according to a cause list issued by the registrar’s office.

Justice Sethi had proposed a constitution of a full bench to hear the petitions earlier, Daily Jang reported.

In his petition, Advocate Afaq Ahmed stated that Khan was disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in the Toshakhana case. 

As per the verdict, Khan had been involved in corrupt practices and his seat in the National Assembly was declared vacant, the petition.

Referring to the Peoples Act 1976 and the Political Parties Order 2002, the petitioner stated that the office-bearers of a political party must meet the standards provided in Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

He sought the court’s order to remove Khan as chairman of the PTI.

In another petition, Jabir Abbas Khan, a citizen, challenged the disqualification of Khan at the hands of the ECP. 

He argued that Khan was disqualified under sections 137(4), 167 and 173 of the Elections Act but the sections did not mention the word “disqualification”.

The petitioner argued that the electoral watchdog “illegally and unlawfully” disqualified Khan.

ECP disqualifies Khan

On October 21 last year, the ECP, in a consensus verdict in Toshakana reference, disqualified the former prime minister and ruled that the PTI chairman is no more a member of the National Assembly.

Criminal proceedings will be initiated against the PTI chairman for misdeclaration, the verdict said.

The ECP stated that Khan submitted a false affidavit and was found involved in corrupt practices under Article 63(1)(p).

Under the said article, a lawmaker is disqualified for the time being from being elected or chosen as a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) or of a provincial assembly.

The decision was taken unanimously by the ECP’s five-member bench but the Punjab member Babar Hassan Bharwana was not present today as he was unwell.

In December, the commission had initiated the process to remove Khan as chairman of PTI and issued a notice to the former premier for appearing before it.

But Khan has challenged the notice in the LHC and sought suspension of the notice and restraining orders for the ECP to stop it from proceeding in the matter till the final disposal of this plea.

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