Islamabad: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Tuesday gave a “final opportunity” to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, Asad Umar and Fawad Chaudhry to appear before it in the contempt case.
In August and September last year, the ECP issued contempt notices to Imran Khan, Asad Umar, Fawad Chaudhry, Mian Shabbir Ismail, and Danial Khalid Khokhar for allegedly using “intemperate” language against the Chief Election Commissioner and ECP.
The body had asked them to appear in person or through their counsels before the commission to explain their position.
Earlier this year, the ECP initiated contempt proceedings against the senior leadership of PTI after receiving a nod from the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
On Tuesday, a three-member bench of the ECP, led by its Sindh member Nisar Durrani, heard the case but adjourned the hearing until April 18 due to the non-appearance of the PTI leaders.
Faisal Chaudhry, who represented the PTI chief and Fawad Chaudhry, filed a plea to postpone the hearing and argued for the revocation of the ECP’s order, directing Imran Khan to appear in person, until the Lahore High Court (LHC) announces its verdict.
However, the electoral watchdog’s bench responded that today was the day for the PTI to present its arguments.
Advocate Anwar Mansoor, who represented Asad Umar, argued that his client had to appear before the anti-terrorism court (ATC) as “150 cases were filed against PTI leaders”, making it difficult for them to appear before all the courts at once.
In response, Durrani remarked that a decision had to be taken on the points raised in the pleas.
Whereas, the other member of the bench Shah Muhammad Jatoi held that if the PTI leaders did not appear before the commission, charges would be framed against them.
It is important to note that the bailable warrants of the three were also issued earlier this year, which were subsequently suspended by the Lahore High Court (LHC).