Imran’s Removal As PTI Leader Is In Way, The ECP Informs IHC
December 14, 2022 / By Zunair Tahir / Pakistan News
Following Imran Khan’s disqualification in the Toshakhana issue, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) told the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday that it had started the process to remove him from his position as PTI chairman.
A district and sessions court in Islamabad has postponed its decision on an ECP petition in the Toshakhana case against Imran Khan, according to ECP Director General Law Mohammad Arshad, who also informed the court that the next hearing of the reference has been set for December 20.
The trial court had heard the commission’s argument on November 22 and is scheduled to render a decision on December 15.
In response to its ruling in the Toshakhana case, the ECP had started the process on December 5 to have Imran Khan resigned as chairman of the PTI. According to Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution, he was disqualified because he made “false assertions and erroneous disclosure.”
Imran Khan’s appeal against the ECP’s decision to disqualify him was taken up by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, however owing to a lack of time, further proceedings were tabled until Dec. 20.
Ex-PM’s counsel terms commission’s disqualification order unconstitutional
Imran Khan’s attorney, Syed Ali Zafar, emphasised the case’s importance in light of the ECP hearings. He informed the IHC that Imran Khan was being sought to be disqualified under Article 62(1)(f) in the Toshakhana matter after the National Assembly speaker had mechanically approved the pleas of a few MNAs without providing any justification, documentation, or proof.
He argued that both the ECP order and the NA speaker’s decision were unlawful. The attorney contended that there must be an earlier pronouncement by a court of law against the member in order for a disqualification under Article 62(1)(f) to occur.
He emphasized that neither before the ECP nor when the commission was asked to respond to the inquiries raised in the reference was there a declaration from a court of law against Imran Khan as required by Article 62(1)(f) in this matter.
Therefore, the speaker’s reference is unjustified and unlawful, and the attorney said that ECP should have rejected the reference by concluding that Imran Khan is not ineligible under Article 62(1)(f).
The attorney countered that the ECP was not a court of law and that the Supreme Court had repeatedly ruled that the ECP could not issue a declaration under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution. He also brought up the most recent Faisal Vawda case, in which the Supreme Court determined that the Commission lacked authority to issue any declarations according to Article 62(1). (f).
The attorney described the current situation as peculiar since assets were bought and traded legally, yet Imran Khan was nonetheless disqualified by the ECP. He cited several decisions of the higher courts where it was determined that while all errors in statements were not grounds for disqualification, it was necessary to determine if the declaration was made with an ulterior or dishonest purpose.
The attorney emphasized that there was no need for Imran Khan to omit the presents from his assets declaration because he had legitimately and in compliance with the regulations bought the assets, and the ECP’s premise that this was done dishonestly was completely false.
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