ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday disqualified former prime minister Imran Khan for five years following his conviction in the Toshakhana case last week, Dawn.com reported.
An Islamabad trial court on Saturday sentenced Imran — who was absent from the hearing — to three years of imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs100,000 on him while hearing the ECP’s criminal complaint against the PTI chief for concealing details of Toshakhana gifts. The court found him guilty of “corrupt practices by hiding the benefits he accrued from the national exchequer wilfully and intentionally”.
“He cheated while providing information of gifts he obtained from Toshakhana which later proved to be false and inaccurate. His dishonesty has been established beyond doubt,” the court order read.
Imran was subsequently arrested by Punjab police from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore.
The verdict signified that Imran technically stood disqualified from holding any public office for five years under Article 63(1)(h) of the Constitution, which states: “A person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of the Parliament if he has been, on conviction for any offence involving moral turpitude, sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years, unless a period of five years has elapsed since his release.”
In a notification issued today, the ECP cited Saturday’s court order and declared Imran disqualified under Article 63(1)(h) of the Constitution read with Section 232 of the Elections Act, 2017.
“Therefore, Mr Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi is disqualified for a period of five years and is also de-notified as a returned candidate from constituency NA-45 Kurram-I,” the notification, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, said.
Earlier today, Imran filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) — through his lawyers — against the trial court’s verdict, saying that the said order was “not sustainable” and “liable to be set aside”.
The petition will be taken up tomorrow (Wednesday) by a two-member bench comprising IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri.