Islamabad: An Islamabad district and sessions court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing of a Toshakhana reference against former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan till December 8, Dawn reported.
The court announced the decision after they recorded the statement of the district election commissioner as Imran Khan did not appear before the court as he has been recovering after sustaining a gunshot wound after an assassination bid during a rally on November 3, the Dawn reported.
Criminal proceedings were initiated against Imran Khan at a court here on Tuesday in a case filed against the deposed Pakistan prime minister for concealing information about the about the gifts he received from foreign dignitaries during his tenure.
Last week, the ECP had sent the reference to the court, asking it to proceed against Imran under criminal law for allegedly misleading officials about the gifts, the Dawn.
The commission seeks a three-year jail term and imposition of fine as the punishment.
Notably, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in October disqualified Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan under Article 63(1)(p) for making "false statements and incorrect declaration." During the hearing, District Election Commissioner Waqas Malik said he had been authorised to pursue the case.
As per the Dawn report, Malik stressed that ECP was an independent institution that operated under the Constitution and ensured curbing corrupt practices. Waqas Malik stated that members of the Pakistan National Assembly, including Imran Khan, filed their returns to the Election Commission annually. The court summons for PTI chief Imran Khan comes a month after the ECP disqualified him as they found that he made "false statements and incorrect declaration" in the election papers. Last week, the ECP sent the reference to the court and requested it to initiate proceedings against Imran Khan.
The ECP asked the court to initiate proceedings against Khan for allegedly misleading officials about the gifts he had got from foreign dignitaries during his term as Pakistan's Prime Minister. The Election Commission of Pakistan has called for a three-year jail term and imposing fine against Imran Khan, as per the Dawn report.
According to the Toshakhana reference, Imran Khan had "deliberately concealed his assets" relating to Toshakhana gifts he received, mainly in 2018 and 2019 in the "statements of assets and liabilities filed for the year 2017-201 8 and 2018-19."
The gifts were bought from the Toshakhana for Rs 21.5 million on the basis of their assessed value while they were worth Rs 108 million. The reference was filed against PTI chief by the Pakistan Democratic Movement in August.
The Pakistan Democratic Movement submitted a reference against Khan for "not sharing details" of Toshakhana gifts and proceeds from their alleged sale to National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, as per the Dawn report. Subsequently, the reference was forwarded to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja for further action.
Last week. more revelations regarding the sale of Toshakhana gifts were reported. Toshakhana gifts worth Rs 280 million in 2019 through Farah Khan, a close friend of Imran Khan's wife Bushra Bibi, and her whitening of the almost same amount of money the next month has raised doubts over Imran Khan, The News International reported.
According to Sheikh Umar Farooq Zahoor, Farah Khan sold the Toshakhana gifts to him in Dubai in April 2019 for about Rs 280 million. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) official record has revealed that she got a benefit of Rs 330 a month later when a tax amnesty scheme was announced by the government in May 2019, as per The News International report. —ANI