The Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s request to stay criminal proceedings against him in the Toshakhana (gift repository) criminal case, but urged the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to decide three of his pending petitions challenging the court’s decision to return the matter to the trial court. A division bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Yahya Afridi observed that “the jurisdiction of the court should always be decided first” as it admitted the PTI chief’s lawyer’s arguments had weight. Earlier, the IHC had accepted the PTI chairman’s petition, seeking dismissal of a criminal complaint filed against him in a trial court by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) with regard to a Toshakhana case. Remanding the matter back to the court of Islamabad (West) additional sessions judge, the IHC had directed the judge to decide the matter afresh within seven days. The trial court had then announced starting criminal proceedings against the former prime minister in the Toshakhana case on July 12 after rejecting his plea against the maintainability of the ECP’s complaint. Subsequently, the accused’s counsel Advocate Gohar Ali Khan submitted a plea before the IIHC against the trial court’s decision on July 11. The petitioner moved the IHC to annul the trial court’s decision. The PTI chief was unable to acquire immediate relief from the Islamabad High Court and obtain a stay on the trial. Instead, the IHC issued a notice on the injunction request and adjourned the hearing. Meanwhile, the trial court directed the PTI chief to ensure his presence at the hearings after observing that he has failed to appear “even once” since the trial began. During the hearing at the apex court on Wednesday, the petitioner sought relief from the SC arguing for a stay in the proceedings until three of his petitions challenging the jurisdiction of the trial court and the IHC’s decision to transfer the case. Justice Afridi acknowledged that the argument that the court’s jurisdiction should be determined first had merit. The ECP’s lawyer also agreed.