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Abhijay Raj Vaish, Pune

The Islamabad High Court granted bail to the former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan in the Toshakhana corruption case on Tuesday; however, his joy was short-lived as he is still being investigated in the Cypher case. The special court has ordered him to be jailed under the Official Secrets Act. He was earlier sentenced to three years in prison with a suspension from holding any political office for five years on August 5. 

The “cipher” case is related to an official document that contained information about cipher cables. It went missing when it was possessed by Imran Khan as PM.

The verdict of bail was delivered by a division bench consisting of Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tareq Mehmood Jahangiri at the surety of Rs 100,000. The decision came when the cricketer-turned-politician was serving his sentence in the Attock Jail in Rawalpindi. 

Naeem Haider Panjotha, who represented the former prime minister in the Toshkhana case, said, “The CJ has accepted our request, suspended the sentence, and said a detailed account of the decision would be provided later.”

He was also earlier found guilty by a district and sessions court over selling state gifts abroad while holding the prime minister’s office between 2018-2022. Toshakhana, which is the state gift repository under Pakistan’s Cabinet Division allows officials, PMs, or presidents to retain the gifts received that cost less than PKR 30,000 whereas the gifts that exceed this limit must be kept in the Toshakhana. However, a public official must pay a certain fraction of its value in order to retain the gift as deemed fit by the Toshakhana evaluation committee. The value prescribed was somewhere around 20 percent of the gift’s value which was altered by Khan’s government to 50 percent when he came to power in 2018. 

The accusation against him was that he “deliberately concealed” the information about the gifts received when he was working as PM of the country. He had claimed that the allegations made against him were inadmissible.