Reference for Imran’s disqualification filed

Govt wants ECP to take action against PTI chief under Article 63

Saqib Virk August 04, 2022


The coalition government on Thursday filed a reference with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) seeking the disqualification of PTI chairman and deposed premier Imran Khan from holding public office for allegedly acquiring gifts from the Toshakhana.

The reference demanded of the ECP to disqualify Imran under Sections 2 and 3 of Article 63 of the Constitution, read with Article 62(1)(f).

Article 62(1)(f) is the same provision under which former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified in 2017.

It reads: “A person shall not be qualified to be elected or chosen as a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) unless […] he is sagacious, righteous and non-profligate, honest and ameen, there being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law.”

Article 63(2) reads: “If any question arises whether a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) has become disqualified from being a member, the Speaker or, as the case may be, the Chairman shall, unless he decides that no such question has arisen, refer the question to the Election Commission within thirty days and should he fail to do so within the aforesaid period it shall be deemed to have been referred to the Election Commission.”

Read PM forms committee to formulate, propose new Toshakhana policy

The reference was submitted by PML-N MNA Barrister Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha to the ECP.

It carried the signatures of lawmakers Agha Hassan Baloch, Salahudeen Ayubi, Ali Gohar Khan, Syed Rafiullah Agha and Saad Waseem Sheikh – all members of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – a multi-party alliance.

National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf is also expected to send a Toshakhana reference against Imran to the ECP soon.

Speaking to the media after submitting the reference, Ranjha told the media that Imran had lied in the returns submitted by him to the ECP. He added that when the party went through Imran’s returns of 2019, it was found that the gifts acquired from the Toshakhana were not disclosed in them.

The Toshakhana case had hit the headlines last year, after the Pakistan Information Commission (PIC) – an independent and autonomous enforcement body, established under Section 18 of the Right of Access to Information Act – had accepted an application on the matter and directed the Cabinet Division to provide the information about gifts received by then prime minister Imran Khan from foreign dignitaries.

Read more IHC issues notices to NA speaker, ECP on PTI's resignations plea

However, the Cabinet Division had challenged the PIC order in the IHC, claiming that it was “illegal”. The then government had taken the position that the disclosure of any information related to Toshakhana might jeopardise Pakistan’s international relations.

Nonetheless, in April, IHC’s Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb had ruled that the Toshakhana gifts taken home by individuals be taken back, stating that there should not be the policy of retaining these gifts on the payment of a certain percentage of money.

He had said that if the “information commission ordered that the information be provided to the citizen [also a petitioner in the case] then do it”, adding that “if someone had taken the gifts to their home, take them back”.

Earlier in April, former prime minister Imran, while responding to the Toshakana controversy during an informal media chat, had said that those were his gifts, so it was his choice whether or not he kept them. “Mera Tohfa, Meri Marzi [my gift, my choice],” Imran had said.


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