Islamabad: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday adjourned the Toshakhana reference sent by the Speaker of the National Assembly Raja Pervez Ashraf against PTI Chairman Imran Khan till August 22.
A full bench of the ECP, headed by the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and comprising Nisar Ahmed Durrani, Shah Mohammad Jatoi, Babar Hassan Bharwana and Justice (retd) Ikramullah Khan heard the reference today.
During the hearing, the assistant of Imran Khan’s counsel Barrister Ali Zafar said he [Zafar] could not appear before the ECP due to a busy schedule and requested that the hearing should be adjourned. He also said that Imran Khan was no longer a member of the National Assembly as he already has submitted his resignation.
To which, the CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja replied that in the eyes of the ECP, Imran Khan is still an MNA because the National Assembly Secretariat has not approved the resignation yet. A member cannot be de-notified unless the NA speaker approves and sends the resignation to the ECP.
After this, the CEC ordered the PTI lawyer to provide the documents and adjourned the hearing till August 22.
The reference was sent by the speaker under Articles 62A, 63A and 223 of the Constitution of Pakistan.
The ECP had issued a cause list to hear the Toshakhana reference against PTI Chairman Imran Khan Niazi under Law/2022 (5) 12 on Aug 18 (today). The disqualification reference has been filed by Ali Gohar Khan, PMLN’s Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha and five others under Article 63 of the Constitution.
Former prime minister Imran Khan’s annual asset statements would be scrutinised by the ECP’s full bench.
Wilful concealment will be viewed as a corrupt practice by the ECP if it finds that the former PM failed to disclose the specifics of Rs 15 crore in gifts, allowing the ECP to initiate disqualification procedures against the PTI chairman.