A Pakistani court on Wednesday granted protective bail to former prime minister Imran Khan till June 21 after a fresh FIR was registered against him for committing forgery in selling the state gifts.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Pakistan government registered a case of fraud and forgery against former prime minister Khan, his wife Bushra Bibi and their close aides for allegedly preparing and submitting fake and forged receipts regarding Toshakhana gifts.
The Lahore High Court (LHC) also stopped police from arresting Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi till June 13 in any case.
The LHC judge Amjad Rafique granted bail to the couple after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman appeared before it amid high security.
Khan’s counsel contended that his client has been falsely implicated in the case with malafide intentions and ulterior motives.
“The sole objective of naming the petitioner in the FIR is to harass, blackmail and politically victimise Khan,” the lawyer said and requested that protective bail be granted.
In the FIR registered in Islamabad, the police booked Khan, his wife Bushra Bibi and his two aides Shahzad Akbar and Zulfi Bukhari.
“The suspects committed fraud, and forgery when the PTI was in power for the purpose of cheating and presented a fake receipt of our business letterhead wherein false receipt showing sale purchases of gifts such as watches, cuff links are fraudulently obtained from Toshakhana (national treasury) with false signatures was prepared,” the FIR said.
The Toshakhana is a department under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division and stores precious gifts given to rulers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, and officials by heads of other governments and states and foreign dignitaries.
On a separate petition of Bushra Bibi, Amjad Rafique granted her bail in this case and also stopped the police from arresting her till June 13.
The Toshakhana issue over the sale of state gifts received by the cricketer-turned-politician became a major issue in national politics after the Election Commission of Pakistan disqualified the former premier for making “false statements and incorrect declaration”.
Khan is facing over 100 cases, while Bushra is nominated in two cases — Toshakhana (gifts) and the Al-Qadir Trust case.
The Al-Qadir Trust case alleges that the PTI chief and his wife obtained billions of rupees and land from a real estate firm for legalising Rs 50 billion that was identified and returned to the country by the UK during the previous PTI government.