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ECP Adjourns Hearing of Contempt Case Against Imran

Islamabad (September 27, 2017): The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) adjourned hearing of contempt of court case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan till October 12, 2017.

A five-member ECP bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Sardar Raza Khan heard the contempt of court case.

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During the course of proceeding, Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Raza Khan remarked that as PTI had challenged the jurisdiction of the ECP in Islamabad High Court, the ECP wait for the court to take a decision on the petition by October 11.He said that if the IHC did not deicide the case by then, the ECP would announce it verdict on October 12.

Earlier, PTI counsel Shahid Gondal told the bench that IHC’s full bench had adjourned hearing of PTI petition challenging ECP proceeding in contempt case by October 11.  He added that the bench had suspended the ECP’s decision to issue arrest warrant for Imran Khan by then.Petitioner Akbar S Baber counsel submitted that he expect the Commission to announce its verdict today on the matter.

At the last hearing on Monday, 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 PTI chief’s counsel requested the ECP to withdraw the show-cause notice issued on September 24.

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’s impartiality.The ECP directed the PTI chief to submit his response with regards to the fresh petition by Babar. It also observed that it would deliver its order at the next hearing (today) with regards to the old and new contempt petition after perusing the PTI chairman’s replies.

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.

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