PTI chief skips hearing in Toshakhana reference.

LAHORE -- While a local court in Islamabad on Monday once again issued summons for PTI Chairman Imran Khan after he skipped the hearing of an ECP reference on ToshaAkhana gifts, the Lahore High Court disposed of two identical petitions seeking the former premier's disqualification in the same case.

Islamabad Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Zafar Iqbal resumed the proceedings on the reference which stated that Mr Khan had deliberately concealed Toshakhana gifts, retained by him in 2018 and 2019 when he was the prime minister, in his statements of assets and liabilities filed for the year (2018-19).

It said the perusal of the record revealed that for the year 2018-19, the gifts were purchased on payment of Rs21,564,600 from Toshakhana on the basis of assessed value. The total value of the gift items was Rs107,943,000.

According to the ECP reference, Mr Khan 'has deliberately concealed the material facts by not disclosing the details of gifts...has also made evasive and ambiguous statement in his written reply that the gifts purchased by him during the financial year 2019-20 were further gifted by him or on his behalf to others'.

ECP counsel seeks PTI leader's arrest warrants; LHC disposes of two identical petitions

The PTI's legal team submitted an application seeking exemption of Mr Khan from personal appearance for medical reasons.

Judge Iqbal pointed out that the application had been moved from the counsel who was yet to be appoAinted to represent Mr Khan.

PTI's lawyer Syed Ali Bukhari told the court that Mr Khan had not yet signed the power of attorney. The court directed him to file the power of attorney by next hearing.

ECP's counsel Saad Hassan requested the court to issue warrants for Imran Khan over his absence during the criminal trial.

The judge, however, remarked that the court would examine this question at an appropriate time and adjourned further proceedings till Jan 31.

Petitions disposed of

As a larger bench of the LHC headed by Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti resumed its hearing, Advocate Azhar Siddique, the counsel for one of the petitioners, stated that his client wanted to withdraw the petition since...

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