A district and sessions court in Islamabad on Monday announced that it would announce reserved verdict on a plea filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in the Toshakhana case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on December 15 at 2 pm.

The court took up the Toshakhana reference filed by the ECP seeking criminal lawsuit proceedings against Khan for alleged Toshakhana corruption on November 22 after the electoral body found him guilty of “false statements and an incorrect declaration” in his nomination papers for an election contest.

This was a week after the ECP sent the reference against Khan for allegedly indulging in corrupt practices — which the former premier denies — to the court.

Upon receiving the reference, the court sent a notice to the PTI chief as the trial opened against him in the Toshakhana reference.

If proven guilty, Khan can be sentenced to three-year imprisonment and fined heavily.

Today’s hearing

At the outset of the hearing, ECP’s lawyer Saad Hassan appeared before the court and presented his arguments.

“Imran Khan said that he constructed a road with the money [acquired from] Toshakhana [gifts],” he said, adding that a prime minister has to deposit any gift they receive to the Toshakhana.

He stated that the Toshakhana gifts could be retained after paying 20% of the gift’s price until the PTI government introduced a new law which allowed taking the Toshakhana gifts after paying 50% of its price.

“The price of the watch was estimated at Rs85 million,” he said, adding that Khan failed to state the amount for which he sold the Toshakhana watch.

ECP VERDICT: In October, ECP, in a unanimous verdict in the Toshakhana reference, disqualified the former prime minister and ruled that the PTI chief was no more a member of the National Assembly.

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

“As a sequel to our abovementioned findings, facts available on record and keeping in view the argument of learned counsel for parties herein, we are of the considered opinion that the Respondent has become disqualified under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution read with Section 137,167 and 173 of the Elections Act,2017, consequently he ceases to be a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan and his seat has become vacant accordingly,” the ECP order had stated.

In the verdict, ECP had also declared that Khan had made “false statements and incorrect declarations, therefore he has also committed the offence of corrupt practices defined under Sections 167 and 173 of the Elections Act, 2017”.

It added that the offence was, punishable under Section 174 of the Elections Act, 2017 and directed legal proceedings and follow-up action under Section 190(2) of the Elections Act.

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