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Toshakhana case: Notice issued to NAB for summoning Imran, Bushra Bibi without reason

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  • IHC takes up Khan, wife’s pleas challenging the call-up notices.
  • One petition urges NAB call-up notices be declared illegal. 
  • Court remarks it is “not restricting NAB from anything now”.

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday issued a notice to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for summoning Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, in the Toshakhana case without following the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The IHC took up the pleas filed by Khan and Bushra Bibi, challenging the call-up notices of February 17 and March 16 issued by the anti-graft watchdog.

Bushra Bibi’s petition prayed to the court that the NAB call-up notices should be declared illegal. 

It moved the court to stay the inquiry by changing the investigation till the final decision of the Toshakhana case and also stay the disciplinary action against the petitioners based on the call-up notices.

A division bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq heard the pleas. 

Khawaja Haris, the counsel representing the former premier and first lady, maintained that the NAB’s notices didn’t state in which capacity the information was being sought.

“Providing complete information about the notices is mandatory for NAB as per the judicial orders,” Advocate Haris said.

At this, CJ Farooq inquired about the procedure of serving notices as per the latest NAB amendments.

“The Amendment Act says the NAB must establish a reason and communicate it [to the receiver] for summoning someone,” the lawyer said responding to the query.

“As per the amendment law, it should be mentioned whether anyone was summoned as an accused or summoned for any other reason.”

At this, CJ Farooq inquired whether Imran Khan received the summons.

The lawyer then presented the NAB’s call-up notices served to Khan, in court.

“We weren’t provided information in the notices. It only mentioned that it was about an inquiry against public office holders,” the lawyer stated.

He further stated that the Cabinet Division and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), which also come under the banner of public offices, were also involved in the Toshakhana gifts case.

The CJ of the IHC then asked if Imran Khan appeared [before NAB authorities] in response to these notices.

“No he (Khan) did not,” the lawyer replied and added, “He sent a written response only”.

At this, Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz asked did the NAB take any action against Khan over his response. “No, it did not,” the lawyer replied.

“Maybe they [NAB] are convinced with Imran Khan’s response that there was not case,” CJ Farooq observed.

At this, the lawyer said that petitioners feared that NAB would turn the inquiry into an investigation.

“The notice was served the next day after [former NAB chairman] Aftab Sultan resigned,” the lawyer contended.

The court then asked the NAB prosecutor to present his arguments.

The IHC CJ asked if a notice had been served to Khan again.

At this, the NAB prosecutor informed the court that a reminder had been sent to the former premier.

“Your notices do not reflect compliance with judicial orders. We are not restricting NAB from anything now,” CJ Farooq remarked before reserving the verdict on Khan and Bushra Bibi’s pleas.

The court announced the verdict later while issuing notices to NAB for its reply. 

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The PML-N session regarding the Supreme Court’s verdict on reserved seats has been postponed.

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The PML-N session, which was planned for today and involved the party’s leaders, has been postponed. This decision was made as party president Nawaz Sharif engaged in extensive discussions with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and CM Maryam Nawaz on the issue, according to sources.

Consultations were also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar. According to sources, the group extensively deliberated on all facets of the highest court’s ruling regarding reserved seats.

The party leaders’ scheduled consultation session for today has been postponed due to Muharram.

Nawaz Sharif has personally engaged in consultations with party leaders, conducting meetings with certain individuals and maintaining telephonic communication with others to deliberate on different possibilities about the situation.

PML-N leaders have voiced their concerns with the ruling and have called for a parliamentary response.

According to party insiders, a consultative conference of the PML-N will be called in Lahore in the near future.

According to sources, Shehbaz Sharif would provide a detailed explanation of the future plan to the People’s Party and other partners of his government.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) achieved a significant legal triumph as the Supreme Court of Pakistan reversed the decision to deny reserved seats to the PTI-supported Sunni Ittehad Council.

The Supreme Court issued a divided ruling with an 8-5 split on a petition filed by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) about the allotment of special seats.

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PTI received unwelcome respite, according to Rana Sanaullah

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In the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) reserved seat dispute, the government would respect the majority ruling of the Supreme Court, according to PMLN senior leader and advisor on political affairs Rana Sanaullah Khan.

He stated that after examining the decision, the government’s legal team would react appropriately. According to Rana Sanaullah, the legal team would determine whether or not to submit a review petition.

“SIC petitions were rejected but PTI was given that relief which was neither asked in the petition nor contest during the proceeding,” asserted Rana Sanaullah in response to the ruling.

He argued that because parties established administrations with a simple majority, the PMLN-led unity movement did not have a two-thirds majority.

According to Rana Sanaullah, PTI should challenge election tribunal rulings, with the government carrying out the rulings.

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The membership of Sher Afzal Marwat has been suspended by PTI.

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According to sources, PTI officials convened with imprisoned party founder Imran Khan on Thursday to make a decision over Marwat.

The party authorities alleged that Sher Afzal Marwat had been consistently breaching party discipline over the past month.

“In the meeting with Imran Khan, it was mutually agreed that no leader holds a superior position within the party, and any other leaders who deviate from the party’s stance will face similar consequences,” they stated.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has recently issued a show-cause notice to Sher Afzal Marwat due to his irresponsible utterances.

The notice, issued by PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan, requires Marwat to provide an explanation for his utterances within a three-day period. These statements have been considered harmful to the party’s reputation.

The notification declares that making such utterances goes against the party’s code of conduct and contravenes the explicit directives of the party’s founder, Imran Khan, who has underscored the significance of accountable conduct.

Marwat was cautioned that if they fail to react or offer a satisfactory explanation, it could result in additional disciplinary measures.

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