Prohibited funding case: Court orders Imran to appear before IO

The top leadership of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) reviewed the legal challenges regarding Imran Khan’s position as the party chief and considered appointing him as “patron-in-chief” to avoid the danger of him being removed as chairman.

The PTI chief is facing criminal charges in the Toshakhana case after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) disqualified him from the NA-95 (Mianwali-1) constituency for allegedly filing incorrect statements of assets.

The ECP initiated proceedings against him last month after he was found guilty in the scam. However, the PTI chairman approached the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the ECP’s move to debar him from heading his party and secured a stay order in his favour.

Justice Jawad Hassan of the LHC, who was hearing the case has restrained the ECP from any adverse action against Khan and proposed to the chief justice that a larger bench should decide the case.

In a meeting on Friday, the party bigwigs discussed the legal aspects of the case and considered appointing Khan as patron-in-chief.

Party insiders claim that the PTI has a backup strategy to fight the legal potential of Khan’s removal from the PTI chairmanship.

“Even with the new appointment, he will still have complete authority to oversee party affairs,” the report stated.

They said there would be no need to amend the party constitution for the new position.

HEARING: The ECP will take up the case on January 25 after it was informed that the LHC had barred the commission from stripping Khan of his party’s chairmanship.

The PTI chief’s counsel told a five-member ECP bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, that they had not received the order of the last hearing.

When the lawyer pointed out that the ECP’s notice had been challenged in the LHC, one ECP member told him to have faith in the commission and not hasten to approach the court, saying the decision in the case might be different from the one they were anticipating.

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