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IHC Suspends ECP’s Arrest Warrant for Imran

Islamabad (September 20, 2017): Islamabad High Court on Wednesday suspended arrest warrant issued by Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for PTI chief Imran Khan in contempt of court case.

A division bench of IHC heard PTI chief petition against the ECP’s bailable warrant issued for him.

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The court while suspending the warrant directed Chairman PTI Imran Khan to submit reply to ECP on the show cause notice in contempt case.

The court also issued notice to ECP and other respondent for September 20, 2017.

The court after hearing arguments of the PTI chief counsel suspended the arrest warrant.

It is to be mentioned here that ECP had issued bailable arrest warrants for Imran Khan on September 14 following his failure to show up for the contempt of court proceeding.The election body had also ordered the PTI chief to submit surety bonds worth Rs0.1 million.

The commission, while hearing the contempt of court case against Imran Khan filed by PTI dissident and one of the founding members Akbar S. Babar, had also ordered the party chief to appear before the court on September 25.The counsel for Imran Khan, Babar Awan, had argued that the PTI chief was abroad and had returned to the country just an hour ago.

Last month, ECP had issued a second show-cause notice to Imran Khan after he failed to reply to the earlier notice regarding the contempt of court proceedings against him.Imran Khan had initially challenged maintainability of the contempt petition and raised objections over ECP’s jurisdiction to initiate contempt proceedings against him; the commission, however, declared on August 10 that it had the legal right to hear the contempt case.

It had then issued a formal show-cause notice to the PTI chairman, asking him to submit a reply by Aug 23.

PTI chief’s counsel Babar Awan had then appeared before the five-member ECP bench — headed by Chief Election Commissio­ner (CEC) retired Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza — and pleaded that they wanted to challenge the ECP’s judgement regarding the maintainability of the contempt petition and hence, should be granted some time to do so.Imran Khan had accused the ECP of being biased in the foreign funding case following which his counsel had tendered an apology with the commission. However, the PTI chairman in a TV interview later said that his counsel had tendered an apology in his personal capacity and that he had not apologised.

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