ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan reserved its verdict in the contempt of court case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, which will be announced on September 27.
A four-member ECP bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Raza Khan, resumed hearing of the contempt case against the PTI chief.
The PTI chief, in his reply submitted through his lawyer Babar Awan, stated that “I respect the ECP and believe in the supremacy of institutions.”
Khan stated that he confirms the apology tendered by his previous counsel, Saqlain Haider, regarding the “contemptuous” remarks, adding that the contempt of court matter is a “closed transaction belonging to the past.”
“The issue originated from non-submission of documents in the party funding case, however, the documents have been submitted to the ECP,” the PTI chief stated, requesting the ECP to withdraw the show cause notice issued on September 24.
His counsel, Babar Awan, pleaded the ECP to now dismiss contempt proceedings against his client.
However, petitioner Akbar Babar’s counsel objected saying Imran did not apologise to the court despite 13 chances given to him.
Babar’s counsel then submitted a fresh contempt petition in the ECP, stating that the PTI chief, in a press talk in Karachi on September 20, cast aspersions against the ECP impartiality.
The ECP directed the PTI chief to submit his response with regards to the fresh petition by Akbar Babar. The verdict reserved in the case will also be announced on the same day.
The ECP further stated that it would make clear its next course of action after perusing the PTI chairman’s reply.
Later, addressing the media, Awan and PTI leader Naeemul Haque said former premier Nawaz Sharif wants a clash of state institutions in the country. They claimed that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is a puppet, as the real strings are still being pulled by Nawaz.
At the last hearing on September 14, the ECP had issued bailable warrants against Imran to ensure his presence in the case.
However, the PTI approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the issuance of warrants. The IHC, on September 20, suspended the bailable arrest warrants. Hearing the case, Justice Aamer Farooq, who headed a three-member larger bench, directed the PTI chief to reply to the ECP’s show-cause notice.
Awan assured the court that the PTI chairman would reply to the ECP’s show-cause notice with regards to contempt proceedings against him.
The IHC then adjourned the hearing until September 26.
The ECP had ordered Imran to submit a surety bond of Rs100,000 until September 25 and nominate two persons who would ensure payment of the amount and be held responsible otherwise.
Imran was also ordered to appear on that day in the commission in person.
Earlier, on September 14, during the hearing of contempt proceedings, Awan had argued before the ECP that proceedings against his client should be postponed until the matter is decided by the high court.
The ECP had summoned Imran in person on that as well but he failed to do so.
The ECP had issued the contempt notice to Khan on January 24 over his “scandalous remarks” about the commission.
Akbar Babar, the petitioner who had filed the foreign funding case against the PTI leadership, had informed the ECP that the PTI chief had accused it of being biased in the foreign funding case following which his counsel tendered an apology with the commission.
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