Contempt case: Election Commission of Pakistan reserves verdict after Imran Khan’s reply


ISLAMABAD: Sept 25 (TNS):   Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s counsel Babar Awan submitted his client’s reply before the five-member bench of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday.

The five-member ECP bench, headed by the Chief Election  Commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Raza Khan heard the case.

During the proceedings today, Babar Awan submitted Imran Khan’s reply in the commission.

“We were demanding the reply which you [Babar Awan] have submitted today,” the bench remarked.

Awan said that his client had taken back the ‘scandalous remarks’ against the commission, hence the issue has been resolved, adding that Khan had made an unconditional apology on the matter.

Hearing his argument, the bench reserved its verdict in the case.

Talking to media persons outside the ECP building, Awan said the ECP bench had reserved its verdict in the case after submission of Imran Khan’s reply.

Calling the court proceedings against Imran as sponsored action, he said that some political quarters are engaged to distract democratic reforms’ process and such cases against his client were being filed under a malicious design.

Earlier in last hearing session on September 14, the bench had expressed resentment over flouting of the election commission summons by Imran Khan while issuing his bailable arrest warrant.

Issuing directives for submission of Rs100,000 surety bond to PTI chief until September 25, the ECP has also ordered him to turn up before it in person by the same date.

Subsequently, the commission had ordered the authorities concerned to arrest and produce Khan by the date.

The warrant was bailable as it read the PTI chief may let go on submission of Rs100, 000 surety bond along with two guarantors for attending the ECP hearings.

“Imran has been charged with contempt of ECP under Section 103-A of the Representation of People Act, 1976 for failing to appear before the commission despite a show cause notice,” the warrant read.

On the flip side, PTI had approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the party chief’s arrest warrants.

Suspending the bailable arrest warrants, Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC directed Imran Khan to submit a reply to the ECP’s show-cause notice.

During the ECP hearing in contempt case on September 14, PTI chief’s counsel had contended that the ECP should halt its proceedings in the case since the party had challenged subject-matter jurisdiction in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), adding that his client reached Pakistan this morning after a brief stay in London and Khan is willing to turn up before the commission.

The five-member ECP bench, headed by chief election commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Raza Khan, was hearing a petition, filed by a former PTI leader Akbar Babar earlier this year alleging that PTI chief Imran Khan has committed contempt of court in his comments on the party funds, claiming that he had not apologized to the ECP over his comments instead his counsel did so in his personal capacity.

It merits mentioning that the ECP had issued the contempt notice to Khan on January 24 over his “scandalous remarks” about the commission.