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IK skips Toshakhana hearing

ISLAMABAD: A lower court on Thursday (27th July, 2023) granted a one-time exemption from attendance to PTI Chairman in Toshakhana criminal case and adjourned further hearing till the next date.

Additional District and Session Judge Hamayun Dilawar heard the criminal case against the deposed prime minister.

As the hearing began, Imran Khan’s counsel Barrister Gohar Ali Khan filed a request to the judge seeking a one-time exemption from attendance to his client and said that the PTI chairman couldn’t arrive here due to security issues.

The judge remarked that it was the responsibility of concerned authorities to ensure security arrangements.

The court had conducted a total of 37 hearings in the Toshakhana case and the accused had appeared in only three hearings, he said, adding that the defense lawyers were only used to file exemption requests.

The lawyer said that he was filing an exemption from attendance request last time and prayed the court to adjourn further hearing till Monday, adding that last day they couldn’t get the detailed judgment in the identical case.

The judge asked that whether the lawyer was giving commitment that the accused would appear on Monday to this Barrister Gohar said that he couldn’t give this assurance as he was only a counsel.

The judge remarked that Imran Khan had to appear at every hearing, adding that the court was adjourning the case till Monday.

ECP’s lawyer Amjad Pervaiz opposed the request and said that as per the directives of the top court, the appearance of an accused was essential during trials in criminal cases.

The exemption could be granted only if the court gets satisfied with it, he said. He said that the defense was claiming security risks in F-8 Kachehri but now it had the same concerns in the new building.

The ECP lawyer said the application had not stated that the PTI chairman would appear on Monday.

During the hearing, Imran Khan’s lawyer also filed an application to the court seeking suspension of the proceeding till the decisions on a petition against evidence recording in the said case.

ECP’s lawyer Amjad Pervaiz contradicted the request and said that such an application could be moved only before the cross-examination against the witnesses, adding that these were just delaying tactics by the defense.

After a recession, Imran Khan’s lawyer told the court that his client would appear before the court on the next hearing as per the senior counsel Khawaja Haris.

The court accepted the two requests including exemption from appearance to Imran Khan and adjournment of the case till Monday.

However, the third application against recording the evidence by the prosecution was terminated.


M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.