Tyrian White case: IHC tells Imran to ‘admit or deny’ having daughter

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday resumed the hearing of a disqualification case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan pertaining to concealing his alleged daughter Tyrian Jade White in his nomination papers.
A larger bench of Islamabad High Court comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Arbab Tahir and headed by Chief Justice Aamer Farooq heard the case and said the former premier should ‘simply accept or deny having a daughter’.
At the start of the hearing, Justice Farooq stated that everyone is entitled to privacy but this case is being heard in court due to a legal issue. “Say whatever you have to say in ‘yes’ or ‘no’,” he said.
Speaking to Imran’s lawyers, the IHC chief justice said, “this is a two-minute case…either you admit or deny and the hearing will come to an end”.
“If you deny, the petition will be dismissed for now and in the next election, someone will bring this issue again,” he remarked.
Justice Farooq said that it is unfortunate for someone’s private life to become a public issue, requesting Imran’s counsel to take a clear stand.
The PTI chief’s lawyer, Salman Akram Raja, did not appear in court. His assistant counsel said that the petitioner has requested to amend his petition. “We object to his request and need time to reply in writing”.
The chief justice noted that Imran had to answer only two pages and asked if he could submit the reply today.
The petitioner’s counsel submitted a copy of the affidavit given in the case of Imran’s alleged daughter Tyrian being concealed.
Justice Kayani said that “guardianship” is written in the affidavit but there is no mention of being a father. “This is a foreign document and an ex-parte order. This document cannot be said to be complete,” he said.
Further, he said that the petitioner must prove Imran’s recognition of his daughter. “Even if the daughter has said that he is her father, this is not binding on Imran Khan,” he added.
Justice Kayani said that the petitioner must show Imran’s confession in clear words, admitting to being Tyrian’s father. “The petitioner has to clearly show Imran’s paternity to Tyrian,” he said.
“First you need to prove that this girl is Imran Khan’s daughter. Then the issue of Article 62(i)(f) will come,” he added.
The lawyer argued that Jemima and Imran had given a no objection certificate, giving their consent for Tyrian’s guardianship and questioned why no one else had done so.
The IHC chief justice also asked the petitioner’s counsel if they had a copy of the case filed there, adding that there must be some document for the judges to see.
The lawyer responded that all foreign records are in front of the court and have been confirmed by the Foreign Office. “If Imran Khan is not related to Tyrian, why did he give the affidavit of guardianship?” he questioned.
Justice Kayani said that many people are guardians of children but they are not fathers. Referring to conducting a DNA test, the judge said “it is only the girl who can say that this is my father, how can a third person say it?”.
He said that if anyone can go to court in this case, it is Tyrian herself. “She can say that my father should have declared me as his daughter but how did a third party become the victim in this case?” he questioned.
Chief Justice Aamer Farooq asked if there was a response from Imran Khan in this case and for the petitioner’s counsel to show the records. “Go through your documents in their entirety, organize them and tell us at the next hearing. Show us, was there full ex parte action in California?”
The court adjourned the hearing till next Monday, March 20, and directed the petitioner’s counsel to prepare and present its arguments at the next hearing.