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Tyrian White case: IHC seeks arguments on the admissibility of petition against Imran

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The Islamabad High Court stressed on Thursday that arguments on the admissibility of the petition seeking former prime minister Imran Khan’s disqualification for concealing his alleged daughter Tyrian White in his nomination forms submitted to contest the 2018 general election were fundamental.
IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq observed a larger bench comprising him, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Arbab Mohammad Tahir took up the plea earlier today.
Last year, petitioner Sajid Mahmood had approached the court claiming that although Imran made arrangements for Tyrian White’s upkeep abroad, he did not disclose it in nomination papers and affidavits filed by him for elections.
Salman Butt was present from the petitioner’s side while Imran’s counsels included Advocate Salman Akram Raja’s assistant and Advocate Salman Abuzar Niazi.

At the outset of today’s hearing, the petitioner’s lawyer sought permission to submit new documents about the case in court, i.e. the notification regarding Imran Khan’s victory on seven National Assembly seats recently issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The bench accepted the request and instructed Butt to provide a copy of the new documents to Imran’s lawyers.
The judge then asked the lawyers of both sides to present their arguments one by one. “One side is saying that Imran is a member of the National Assembly while the other is saying that he is not.”
Here, Butt recalled that at the previous hearing, the court had sought comments from the ECP over the matter.
For his part, Imran’s lawyer Raja said that he needed more time to prepare the response to the new documents. However, Butt interjected that “delaying tactics” were being used in the case.
At that, Justice Farooq observed: “In Faisal Vawda’s case, it took them more than a year to submit the response. By the time his reply came, Vawda was no longer a member of the National Assembly.”
Meanwhile, Raja said he would present arguments on the petition’s admissibility.
“I don’t know what the hurry is. The court has itself sought arguments on the admissibility of the plea,” he stated and requested the court for time to submit his responses.
On the other hand, ECP’s lawyer maintained that if the petitioner challenged the commissioner’s notification [on Imran’s victory on seven NA seats], then the electoral body would submit a response.
Here, the court remarked that arguments on the admissibility of the plea were fundamental. It directed the ECP to submit “verified documents” on Imran’s victory and asked the PTI chief’s lawyer to present his response in court at the next hearing.

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