IHC bars ECP from conducting by-elections on Mianwali seat

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IHC ECP

Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday barred the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) from conducting by-elections on the Mianwali seat that fell vacant after the disqualification of Imran Khan by the Commission in the Toshakhana reference.

Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC heard the petition today that was filed by the PTI Chairman against his disqualification by ECP.

The ECP had disqualified PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the Toshakhana reference on October 21, under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution, for making “false statements and incorrect declaration”.

Why is Imran disqualified? | By Naveed Aman Khan

During the hearing today, Imran Khan’s counsel, Barrister Ali Zafar, contended that the ECP had exceeded its authority by passing the decision of disqualification, saying that disqualification was only possible after a trial.

Zafar apprised the IHC that the crime of misdeclaration will be held in the trial session court, which can be punished. He also added that the ECP in the case plays the role of the complainant.

“ECP has exceeded its authority by passing the decision of disqualification. Currently, there is no justification for disqualification, it is possible only after the trial,” said Zafar.

Imran’s counsel also urged the court to suspend ECP’s decision regarding the disqualification of Imran Khan.

However, Justice Farooq turned down the request and issued orders to stop the by-election in Mianwali. The court also issued notices to the ECP against Imran Khan’s disqualification.

During the hearing last Monday, Chief Justice Athar Minallah had observed that PTI Chairman Imran Khan would not face any problem contesting the upcoming by-polls, adding that the former PM had not been barred from contesting in future elections.

Subsequently, the PTI Chairman took part in the Kurram by-elections on Sunday.

According to unofficial results shared by an ECP spokesperson, Imran Khan bagged 20,748 votes, while the PDM-backed JUI-F’s Jamil Khan came second with 12,718 votes.

Imran Khan defeats PDM-backed JUIF candidate in Kurram by-elections

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