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Toshakhana reference: Election Commission asks court to initiate criminal case against former PM Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) wrote a letter today to a district and sessions court Judge in Islamabad with the instructions to initiate criminal case against former prime minister Imran Khan in Toshakhana reference.

In a letter written to the court on Monday, ECP asked the court to transfer the Toshakhana reference to the trial court to start criminal proceedings against Imran Khan.

The reference of the case against Imran Khan was sent to the trial court under Section 137, Section 167 and Section 170 of the election acts.

Section 137: Submission of statement of assets and liabilities.
(1) Every Member of an Assembly and Senate shall submit to the Commission, on or before 31st December each year, a copy of his statement of assets and liabilities including assets and liabilities of his spouse and dependent children as on the preceding thirtieth day of June on Form B.
(2) The Commission, on the first day of January each year through a press release, shall publish the names of members who failed to submit the requisite statement of assets and liabilities within the period specified under sub-section (1).
(3) The Commission shall, on the sixteenth day of January, by an order suspend the membership of a Member of an Assembly and Senate who fails to submit the statement of assets and liabilities by the 15th day of January and such Member shall cease to function till he files the statement of assets an liabilities.
(4) Where a Member submits the statement of assets and liabilities under this section which is found to be false in material particulars, he may, within 120 days from the date submission of the statement, be proceeded against for committing the offence of corrupt practice.

ECP explained that under Section 167: Corrupt practice.—A person is guilty of the offence of corrupt practice if he—
(a) is guilty of bribery, personation, exercising undue influence, capturing of polling station or polling booth, tampering with papers, and making or publishing a false statement or declaration;
(b) calls upon or persuades any person to vote, or to refrain from voting, for any candidate on the ground that he belongs to a particular religion, province, community, race, caste, bradari, sect or tribe;
(c) causes or attempts to cause any person present and waiting to vote at the polling station to depart without voting; or
(d) contravenes the provisions of section 132.

Section 170: Undue influence.— A person is guilty of exercising undue influence if he:
(a) in order to induce or compel any person to vote or refrain from voting, or to offer himself as a candidate, or to withdraw his candidature or retire from the contest, at an election, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf:
(i) makes or threatens to make use of any force, violence or restraint;
(ii) inflicts or threatens to inflict any injury, damage, harm or loss;
(iii) calls down or threatens to call down divine displeasure or the displeasure or disapprobation of any saint or pir;
(iv) gives or threatens to give any religious sentence;
(v) uses or threatens to use any official influence or governmental patronage;
(vi) maligns the Armed Forces of Pakistan; or
(vii) prevents any woman from contesting an election or exercising her right to vote.
(b) on account of any person having voted or refrained from voting, or having offered himself as a candidate, or having withdrawn his candidature or having retired, does any of the acts specified in clause (a).
(c) directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf:
(i) uses any place of religious worship, or any place reserved for the performance of religious rites, for the purpose of canvassing for the votes or not to vote at an election or for a particular candidate; or
(ii) for any of the purposes specified in sub-clause (i) by words, spoken or written, or by signs or visible representation, publishes anything or does any act prejudicial to the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any part of Pakistan; or
(d) by abduction, duress or any fraudulent device or contrivance:
(i) impedes or prevents the free exercise of the franchise by a voter; or
(ii) compels, induces or prevails upon any voter to vote or refrain from voting. Explanation: In this section, “harm” includes social ostracism or excommunication or expulsion from any caste or community.

The letter added that Imran should be tried for corrupt practices.

Javed Mahmood
Written By

I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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