The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday barred the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) from ousting former prime minister Imran Khan as the chairman of his Tehreek-e-Insaaf party.  

The court took up the case after Khan filed the petition on Wednesday. Khan and his counsel argued that ECP’s decision, based on an alleged incorrect statement of assets in relation to the Toshakhana (national depository) case was unlawful and contrary to the constitution.

“The cognizance and exercise of jurisdiction by the ECP for debarring Imran Khan from holding the office of the party chairman on the basis of alleged incorrect statement of assets and subsequent disqualification is unlawful and contrary to the constitution,” said Khan in the petition filed. 

Khan’s lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar pleaded that ECP dod not have the authority to remove the former PM as the PTI boss. 

“If there is a matter of filing false statements, the election commission becomes a plaintiff. It does not give a verdict [as] it is not within its jurisdiction.”

Justice Jawad Hassan presiding over the case issued a notice to the ECP and directed the body to file its reply by January 11. 

Notably, the ECP last month initiated the process to remove Khan after the verdict in the Toshakhana case. The Commission asserted that Khan was disqualified under Article 63(1p) for making false statements and incorrect declaration”.

According to Pakistan’s law, any gift received from dignitaries of a foreign state must be put in the state depository or the Toshakhana.

However, after months of denial, Khan in September last year admitted in a written reply that he sold at least four presents he had received during his tenure as the prime minister.

(With inputs from agencies)





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