ISLAMABAD (Today News) – On Saturday, a local court convicted the PTI chairman to three years in prison and a Rs100,000 fine in the Toshakhana case, altering the country’s political landscape as the country prepares for general elections.

In addition to the brief ruling, the court barred him from holding any office for five years and stated that the full verdict will be released later.

The court further decided that the PTI chairman was implicated in corrupt activities under Section 174 of the Election Act 2017 and had filed a false affidavit to the Election Commission, directing the Islamabad Police chief to arrest the prisoner immediately while issuing arrest warrants.
Meanwhile, the defendant faces another six-month imprisonment term if the fine is not paid, according to the court’s brief order published in Islamabad.

Just over 30 minutes later, top PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi acknowledged that his party’s chairman had been detained.

The court had already deferred its decision in the Toshakhana case, stating that it would be revealed at 12:30pm since the defense counsel failed to appear in person when the hearing had restarted at 12pm.

The order was issued by Additional Sessions Judge Humayun Dilawar after the accused – the PTI chairman – failed to attend in person again, telling the lawyer sitting on behalf of the principal defence counsel that Khawaja Haris had been instructed.

Humayun Dilawar – the additional sessions judge – had passed the order as the accused – the PTI chairman – again failed to appear in person as he told the lawyer appearing on behalf of the main defence counsel that Khawaja Haris had been directed to attend the hearing by 8:30am which he failed to do so.

During the hearing which started after a delay, senior lawyer Amjad Pervaiz and Saad Hassan appeared before the judge to represent the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The judge asked Amjad Pervaiz whether he wanted to say something. However, Khalid Chaudhry – an associate lawyer representing Haris – requested the court to give some time as the senior counsel was busy in a NAB court’s proceedings.

However, the ECP counsel interrupted to argue that giving time wasn’t an issue; however, the accused had also been directed to ensure his presence during the hearing.
The court then questioned Chaudhry if he had the power of attorney to represent the accused in this case, to which he replied that he didn’t and that he was a junior lawyer for Barrister Gohar.

When asked about the NAB case, Chaudhry stated that it was regarding the bail of PTI chairman and his wife.

When asked about the NAB case, Chaudhry stated that it was regarding the bail of PTI chairman and his wife.

The ECP lawyer again interfered, saying Chaudhry had not informed the session court when the senior counsel would arrive and that the bail application was set to be heard at 2:30pm.
However, Chaudhry believed that the senior lawyer would appear in court for the Toshakhana case hearing as soon as he was able.

Meanwhile, the judge noted that non-bailable warrants were issued if an accused failed to appear in person, and Haris, too, failed to be at the court at 8:30 a.m.
Mr Dilawar adjourned the hearing till 12 p.m., saying he would announce his decision in the Toshakhana case if the defense lawyer did not come before the court by then.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court dismissed the PTI chairman’s appeal against trial proceedings in connection with the Toshakhana criminal case after he withdrew it.
Similarly, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) authorized the trial court to assess the maintainability of the Toshakhana case and denied a plea seeking transfer of the case to another court, ruling that Additional Sessions Judge Dilawar will continue hearing the case.

The IHC has enabled the trial court to rule on admissibility for the third time, after the latter had twice found it maintainable.