ECP reserves verdict on contempt notices against Imran Khan, PTI leaders

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday reserved a verdict over a contempt notice issued to PTI leaders including Imran Khan, Fawad Chaudhry and Asad Umar for allegedly speaking against Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja. 

A four–member bench of the ECP heard the case with Faysal Chaudhry, who represented the PTI, saying that they have already challenged the matter before the high court.

“The show-cause notice has been issued by secretary election commission, however, as per law, he is not mandated to issue any such notice. Only Supreme Court has the authority to issue a notice,” he said. “The matter is already pending before the Lahore High Court and the election commission is also a respondent in the case.”

Speaking to media after submitting the reply on the notices, Faysal Chaudhry said that he has submitted the response arguing that the ECP is not a judicial platform and could not issue contempt notices.

“A judicial reference is also filed against ECP member Nisar Durrani in the Supreme Judicial Council and therefore we have asked him to disassociate from the bench hearing the matter,” he said, adding that the ECP has reserved the verdict on the matter.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Lahore High Court (LHC) has restrained the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) from taking action against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders in a case pertaining to contempt notice.

According to details, Justice Jawad Hassan heard the petition filed by PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry in Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench against the electoral watchdog’s contempt of commission notice.

During the hearing, Fawad’s counsel Advocate Faisal Farid argued that the ECP is not a court and therefore as per the constitution is not protected by the “contempt of court provisions”.

Subsequently, the court issued a notice seeking a response from the electoral body on September 7 while restraining it from issuing a final order on the matter.

On August 19, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued a contempt notice to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, Asad Umar, and Fawad Chaudhry.

According to details, the ECP has issued a contempt of court notice to Imran Khan, Asad Umer and Fawad Chaudry and ordered them to report themselves or via an attorney to the ECP to submit their answer to the notice on August 30.

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