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ECP postpones indictment of Imran Khan in contempt case to August 2

ECP postpones indictment of Imran Khan in contempt case to August 2


ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) postponed until August 2 the indictment of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in a case related to insulting the electorate and the Chief Electoral Commissioner (CEC), Pakistan-based Dawn reported. The ECP issued the instructions as a four-member bench led by member Nisar Durrani heard the case on Tuesday, according to Dawn.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Imran Khan appeared before the ECP since the case came up in October 2022.

The decision comes after the ECP on Monday ordered Islamabad police to arrest Imran Khan and present him to the election watchdog. At Tuesday’s hearing, Imran appeared before the ECP bench alongside his attorney, Shoaib Shaheen. A member of the ECP bench said they intend to indict the PTI President in the case today. However, Imran Khan’s lawyer asked ECP to postpone the hearing as he needed more time to collect the case file, according to the report.

Responding to the statement, the ECP said: “It is your responsibility to manage the case and file,” Dawn reported. Subsequently, the ECP accepted Imran Khan’s lawyer’s plea and postponed the indictment until August 2. The election watchdog ordered him to ensure Imran Khan’s presence at the next hearing.

After the hearing, reporters asked Imran Khan if he would apologize to the commission. He replied, “Do you think I should apologize? Why should I apologize when I haven’t made any mistakes?” Asked by a reporter if he would “take more U-turns”, Imran Khan replied, “he would continue to U-turn”, according to a report by Dawn.

The ECP last year filed contempt proceedings against PTI chairman Imran Khan, party leader Asad Umar and former information minister Fawad Chaudhry for allegedly using intemperate language against the chief election commissioner and election watchdog. However, instead of appearing before the ECP, the three leaders challenged the election watchdog’s contempt notices and proceedings in various high courts.

They challenged the ECP’s opinions on the grounds that Section 10 of the Electoral Act 2017, the statutory provision regarding the commission’s power to punish for contempt, was unconstitutional. The leaders of the PTI had also asked the courts to grant them a declaratory judgment of the charges.

In January, the Supreme Court of Pakistan authorized the ECP to pursue legal action against Imran Khan, Fawad Chaudhry and Asad Umar. On June 21, the ECP decided to press charges against the three leaders, Dawn reported. During the July 11 hearing, the three leaders did not appear before the ECP despite being summoned.

After their failure to appear, the ECP issued arrest warrants for Fawad Chaudhry and Imran Khan. However, the election watchdog had accepted a plea from Umars’ lawyer to allow him an exemption from the hearing.




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