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ISLAMABAD: With uncertainty surrounding Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and former prime minister Imran Khan’s appearance before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) today (Thursday), the poll body is set to hear the contempt case against him as well as former party stalwarts Asad Umar and Fawad Chaudhry today.

The case against the three politicians, two of whom; Khan and Chaudhry, are presently locked up in Adiala Jail Rawalpindi, is part of the electoral entity’s cause list issued for today.

The commission is scheduled to frame charges against the three politicians in today’s hearing. However, under the relevant law, the in person appearance of the accused is necessary for framing of charges.

On October 19, the poll body issued two production orders of Khan, over ECP and chief election commissioner’s contempt, for framing charges against him in the contempt case on October 24.

However, on the given date, what appeared to be an embarrassment for ECP, the caretaker government declined the commissions’ directives to produce Khan before the poll body in the contempt case—instead— the government proposed that the ECP hold proceedings of this case in Adiala Jail.

A report submitted by the Interior Ministry recommended to the ECP to hold the proceedings of the contempt case in Adiala Jail on account of “serious security threats” Khan was faced with.

The ECP bench comprising Nisar Ahmed Durrani, Shah Mohammad Jatoi, Babar Hassan Bharwana and former Justice Ikramullah Khan, that hears this case, took the Interior Ministry’s report as an affront to the ECP and summoned Secretary Interior Dr Aftab Akbar Durrani on November 13.

The secretary interior, on the said date, appeared before the bench and submitted another report which also mentioned of serious threats to Khan’s life. The bench inquired from the secretary interior about the legality of holding the proceedings of this case in jail. The secretary sought time from the commission till next hearing. Durrani’s reply is likely to be reviewed in today’s hearing.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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