The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday suspended PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s three-year sentence in the Toshakhana case.
The much-anticipated order was announced by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri on the former prime minister’s appeal against his prison term.
“The copy of the judgment will be available shortly … all we are saying now is that [Imran’s] request has been approved,” Justice Farooq said.
PTI chairman’s aide on legal affairs Naeem Haider Panjotha also confirmed the same in a post on X (formerly Twitter): “The CJ has accepted our request, suspended the sentence and said a detailed decision would be provided later.”
So far, it is unclear if and when Imran will be released from Attock Jail.
According to PTI Information Secretary Raoof Hasan, Imran’s arrest in any other case after the suspension of his sentence in the Toshakhana case would be “ill-intentioned and mala fide”.
“We are fortunate to be witnessing the re-scripting of Pakistan’s political and legal history,” he said, adding that “justice shall prevail”.
On August 5, a trial court in Islamabad had convicted the PTI chief in the case filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that involved concealing details of state gifts and jailed him for three years. The verdict meant he was disqualified from contesting general elections for five years.
Imran had subsequently filed an appeal in the high court against his conviction. He had also approached the Supreme Court (SC) against the IHC’s decision to remand the case back to the trial court judge who had convicted him.
Last week, however, the SC had acknowledged “procedural defects” in Imran’s conviction but had opted to wait for the IHC decision on Imran’s plea. The court’s observations had drawn the ire of the Pakistan Bar Council, which said there should be no “interference” in matters pending before the subordinate judiciary.
A day ago, ECP’s counsel Advocate Amjad Pervaiz concluded his arguments and urged the court to issue a notice to the state to make it a respondent in the case. For his part, Imran’s lawyer Latif Khosa had said he had no objections to Pervaiz’s plea but had also expressed that the action was not required by the law.
Ahead of today’s proceedings, a large contingent of Islamabad police stood guard’s outside the IHC. The PTI legal team and Imran’s sisters Aleema Khan and Uzma Khan were among those who attended the hearing.