ECP rejects Imran’s objection on contempt proceedingsECP rejects Imran’s objection on contempt proceedings

Islamabad The Election Commission of Pakistan on Thursday ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear contempt proceedings and issued a notice to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in a contempt case against him. The ECP had earlier reserved its verdict on the PTI’s petition against the institution’s jurisdiction to hear contempt cases. A five-member bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, issued a show-cause notice to the PTI chief, directing him to reply to a contempt petition against him by August 23. At the last hearing on July 25, Khan’s counsel Babar Awan had argued that only the High Court and Supreme Court can take up proceedings for contempt as per the Constitution. He said a legal framework needs to be put in place in order for the ECP to take up contempt proceedings, as the 1976 Contempt of Court ceases to exist. The ECP had issued the contempt notice to Khan on January 24 over his “scandalous remarks” about the commission. Akbar S Babar, the petitioner who had also filed the foreign funding case against the PTI leadership had informed the ECP that the PTI chief had accused the ECP of being biased in the foreign funding case following which his counsel tendered an apology with the commission.—TNS

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