Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial on Monday constituted a three-member bench to hear PTI Chief Imran Khan’s appeals on August 23 against his conviction in the Toshakhana criminal case.
CJP Bandial will lead the bench which also includes Justice Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail.
Khan had challenged the Islamabad High Court verdict of August 3, in which it set aside a trial court verdict that had declared the Toshsakhana reference filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against the PTI chairman as maintainable for criminal proceedings.
IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq ordered the trial court to decide the matter again after rehearing the case.
The court also rejected Khan’s appeal to transfer the case to another court and issued a notice for next week on a petition to restore the former prime minister’s right of defence in the Toshakhana case.
The PTI chairman was arrested from his Lahore residence on August 5 shortly after he was slapped with a five-year disqualification and three-year prison term in the Toshakhana criminal case.
An Islamabad sessions court handed down the jail sentence after finding Khan guilty of ‘corrupt practices.’
The criminal proceedings against Imran Khan stem from a petition filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan under section 190(2) of the Election Act.
Imran Khan has been accused of selling state gifts on the market to make money. He was entitled to retain gifts from Toshakhana —a state repository where all the gifts received by government officials are deposited before they could take them home after completing the due process — but not to sell them on the market to make a profit, claims the Election Commission of Pakistan, which filed a petition against the former prime minister accusing him of “corrupt practice.”
The PTI says retaining state gifts or even selling them on the market was not a crime. It challenged the criminal proceedings against Khan before the high court.