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Pakistan

Contempt of ECP: SC issues notices to Imran Khan, Asad Umar and Fawad Chaudhry

  • ECP counsel requests court to consolidate all petitions before one high court
Published November 15, 2022

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday issued notices to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan along with PTI leaders Asad Umar and Fawad Chaudhry for contempt of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

A three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ayesha Malik and newly-elevated Justice Athar Minallah, heard the case at the apex court in Islamabad.

Toshakhana reference: ECP disqualifies PTI chief Imran Khan

On behalf of the ECP, the petition was filed by Advocate Sajeel Sheryar Swati and accused the PTI leaders for levelling “baseless allegations” against the authority during their addresses.

Swati requested a consolidation of all six petitions before one high court instead of different courts.

During the hearing, the bench told the ECP to either prepare for local body polls or pursue the cases.

It also asked whether there was any precedent in history where the apex court consolidated cases of different high courts.

In response, the ECP’s counsel said that the SC had ordered the consolidation of all income tax cases to one high court in 1999.

Imran’s petition: IHC bars ECP from holding by-polls on NA-95

As per the Election Act 2017, the “election commission may exercise the same power as the high court to punish any person for contempt of court and the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003 (V of 2003), or any other law pertaining to contempt of court shall have effect accordingly.”

ECP's lawyer stated that PTI chairman and party members Fawad and Umar had filed cases against the election commission in different high courts of the country.

Last month, the PTI moved a reference before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) for the removal of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja.

The reference was filed by PTI's Central Vice President Ejaz Ahmed Chaudhry through his lawyer Babar Awan. The reference said that the election commissioner's performance has "exposed himself as being biased, dishonest and unfaithful to constitutional post that he is holding".

PTI also said that the chief was denying a fair trial and due process of law to Imran Khan and his party as he holds "grudges" against them.

"Raja must be removed from one of the most respectable and sacred constitutional posts," the reference said.

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