A district and sessions court in Islamabad on Monday exempted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan from producing himself before the court for the hearing of the Toshakhana reference. The court, while issuing a notice to the former prime minister, directed him to ensure his appearance in the next hearing. Advocate Ali Bukhari, Khan’s lawyer, cited medical reasons for his non-appearance in court. On December 15, the court issued a notice to Khan on a petition filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) seeking criminal proceedings against him in the Toshakhana case. On November 22, the trial court took up the Toshakhana reference filed by Election Commission against Khan for allegedly indulging in corrupt practices, which the former premier has repeatedly denied as fabricated. As per the electoral body’s order, the trial court in Islamabad sent a notice to the PTI chief. During the hearing, the court asked Khan’s lawyer to furnish a power of attorney on Khan’s behalf. “Have you attached a medical report [with the exemption application]?” the court questioned the PTI chief’s lawyer. “No application had been submitted by Khan,” the court said. At this, Bukhari said that he would ask for a medical report on WhatsApp. Khan’s lawyer requested the court for a February date for the Toshakhana reference hearing. The ECP lawyer said that Khan “cannot get bail until he presents himself before the court”. He further requested the judge to issue arrest warrants for the former premier if he failed to appear before the court. The court remarked that it would look into this matter and asked the ECP to provide certified copies of the case. The court adjourned the hearing of the case till January 31.