IHC dismisses Imran’s plea in gift case

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IHC dismisses Imran's plea in gift case

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected petitions brought by former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife opposing a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) inquiry into the Toshakhana issue involving a gift repository, saying that it cannot stop NAB from looking into the topic at hand.

The NAB prosecution team asked the court to reject Imran and his wife Bushra Bibi’s petitions as a division bench made up of Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Babar Sattar resumed hearing the petitions challenging the call-up notices issued by the top graft buster on Wednesday.

Furthermore, the leading accountability watchdog provided a formal response.

According to the report, Imran Khan received 108 presents from foreign dignitaries during his term as prime minister. Imran only paid Rs38,077,050 for the 58 offers the previous premier kept, despite their estimated value of Rs142,123,100.

The NAB also launched an inquiry into the alleged abuse of the Toshakhana and sent calls-up notices and questionnaires to the petitioner to obtain information exact in accordance with the law.

“[However], the petitioner submitted an evasive response in place of responding to the questionnaire attached to the first call-up notice…The previously mentioned response cannot be considered to be a response to the petitioner’s questions. Therefore, a second call-up notice was issued in the name of justice.

It said that the petitioner’s claims were based on assumptions and assumptions and that NAB was going to conduct the investigation in accordance with the law’s standards.

The law will be rigorously obeyed in every action.

Justice Aamer Farooq ordered that NAB send notices to the petitioner in accordance with the law and in light of the Supreme Court’s rulings. Later, the bench ignored the petitions, noting that it was powerless to obstruct the graft buster’s investigation.

The court noted that if Imran Khan and his wife refused to help NAB with its inquiry, NAB may potentially take legal action against them.

The decision to launch an investigation into the former prime minister’s probable misuse of power and criminal breach of trust—who, it was believed, illegally sold gifts given to foreign dignitaries—was made during the NAB Executive Board Meeting (EBM) on July 7, 2022.

On August 5, 2022, NAB Rawalpindi authorized the investigation and sent questionnaires and call-up messages to Imran and his wife.

On March 30, Imran Khan spoke with the IHC on these notices. On April 1, the former first lady also disputed the notices that NAB had sent her on February 17 and March 16 and asked the court to declare them illegal. Additionally, she asked the court to halt NAB from conducting an investigation while a decision was being made regarding her application.

In October 2022, the Election Commission of Pakistan ruled that Imran bought offers provided by foreign dignitaries from the state gift depository but had failed to reveal the assets in inquiries submitted to the commission. This disqualified Imran from sitting as a lawmaker.

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