IHC suspends Imran’s sentence in Toshakhana case

Imran Khan

In a significant development, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has suspended the conviction and three-year sentence of Imran Khan, the Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, in the Toshakhana case. This much-anticipated decision came on Tuesday following an appeal by the former Prime Minister against his imprisonment.

A division bench, consisting of Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, made the announcement, bringing temporary relief to Imran Khan, who had been convicted on August 5 by a trial court in Islamabad. The case, filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), centered on allegations of concealing details regarding state gifts. The conviction not only imposed a three-year prison term on Khan but also rendered him ineligible to participate in general elections for a five-year period.

Imran Khan wasted no time in filing an appeal with the high court, contesting his conviction. Simultaneously, he also approached the Supreme Court (SC) to challenge the IHC’s decision to remand the case back to the trial court that had originally convicted him.

The Supreme Court had previously noted “procedural defects” in Imran Khan’s conviction but opted to await the outcome of the IHC’s decision before taking further action. This stance by the Supreme Court had raised concerns and criticisms from the Pakistan Bar Council, which argued against any interference in matters pending before the subordinate judiciary.

Just a day before the IHC’s ruling, Advocate Amjad Pervaiz, representing the Election Commission of Pakistan, concluded his arguments and requested the court to notify the state as a respondent in the case. Imran Khan’s lawyer, Latif Khosa, did not object to Pervaiz’s plea but also emphasized that such action was not mandated by the law.

In a late-night post on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), former Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah expressed a view on the matter, stating, “He [Imran] will not come outside [of the jail] — release is not possible, [he] will have to face the prosecution in other cases!”

This decision by the Islamabad High Court adds a new twist to the ongoing legal saga surrounding Imran Khan’s conviction, leaving political observers and the public eagerly awaiting further developments in this high-profile case.