While hearing appeals of PTI Chairman Imran Khan regarding the Toshakhana case, the Supreme Court has declared that the trial court’s prior decision in the case was incorrect.
A three-member bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, along with Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, presided over the proceedings.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Bandial remarked that the trial court had made mistakes in its verdict, particularly in retrospect. He mentioned that as the matter was already under consideration in the high court, the Supreme Court was not intervening at this moment.
The Chief Justice urged the Islamabad High Court to address the appeal promptly, suggesting that the proceedings might be revisited if necessary at 1 pm the following day.
Chief Justice Bandial pointed out that shortcomings were evident in the trial court’s judgment. Notably, the high court had nullified the trial court’s initial decision to deem the case admissible and had instructed a fresh consideration based on different grounds. However, the trial court had reinstated the same flawed decision and handed down a sentence, according to the Chief Justice.
Raising concerns about the fairness of the process, Chief Justice Bandial questioned the opportunities for justice that had been provided to Imran Khan. He highlighted that the trial court had summoned the accused multiple times, pronounced a sentence, and sent him to jail without affording him a chance to be heard.
Amjad Pervaiz, representing the Election Commission of Pakistan, argued that the trial court had granted the defendant three opportunities before rendering its judgment.
Justice Naqvi raised the question of how the trial court had arrived at a verdict in the Toshakhana case without ensuring the right to a defense, questioning the hurry in delivering the judgment.
During the hearing, Imran Khan’s legal representative, Latif Khosa, conveyed on his behalf that the National Assembly speaker had forwarded the reference against Imran Khan to the Election Commission of Pakistan. Khosa added that the ECP had a window of 120 days to take action.
It is noteworthy that Imran Khan, Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), had contested the decision of August 3 made by the Islamabad High Court. The PTI had submitted an appeal against the high court’s ruling on August 5.
The Islamabad High Court had referred the matter of the Toshakhana case’s admissibility back to the lower court. Imran Khan had also sought a suspension of the case’s trial.