Imran Khan faces challenges as his chances decrease due to a conviction in the field

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has rejected a petition on Thursday seeking the suspension of the conviction of PTI founder Imran Khan in the Tosha­khana reference, reducing his chances of participating in the upcoming Feb 8 elections.

Simultaneously, the court has summoned the attorney general to address Mr. Khan’s petition challenging media restrictions and in-camera proceedings of the cipher case.

In a separate development, PTI Chairman Gohar Ali Khan has approached the Supreme Court, seeking a level playing field for the party in the forthcoming polls.

Imran Khan was convicted in the Toshakhana case on Aug 5, receiving a three-year prison sentence. Although the IHC had suspended his sentence on Aug 28, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri rejected Mr. Khan’s petition for the suspension of his conviction.

The petition, aimed at modifying the order and suspending the conviction to enable his participation in the elections, was presented by his counsel Sardar Latif Khosa. The bench emphasized the need to evaluate whether the court had jurisdiction under Section 426 of CrPC to suspend the judgment, referring to a previous Supreme Court decision that “the appellate court has no authority under section 426 to suspend the conviction.”

Discussing Mr. Khan’s disqualification, the court noted that the matter was already challenged before the LHC, and the IHC concluded that the petitioner’s lawyer failed to demonstrate “extraordinary or exceptional circumstances” justifying the suspension of the conviction.

In a related matter, another IHC bench issued notice to the Attorney General for Pakistan and the FIA’s director general on Mr. Khan’s petition regarding media censorship and in-camera proceedings of the cipher case.

Simultaneously, PTI Chairman Gohar Ali Khan has approached the Supreme Court, seeking a level playing field for the party in the forthcoming polls. The petition argues that the ECP has failed to ensure transparency and fairness in the elections, damaging the country’s integrity. It alleges discrimination against PTI in terms of holding political gatherings and unfair legal actions against PTI leaders and workers. The petition asserts that such acts are illegal, tyrannical, and violate fundamental rights, calling for corrective measures.

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