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ISLAMABAD: The counsel for former prime minister Imran Khan has lambasted the electoral body for holding contempt proceedings against Khan in Adiala Jail Rawalpindi, questioning the legality of this move— keeping in view that a related case against jail trial is pending with Lahore High Court (LHC)— whereas the ECP team again visited the said jail on Tuesday to hold contempt proceedings against the ex-premier, and former party leader Fawad Chaudhry.

Nisar Ahmed Durrani, Shah Muhammad Jatoi, Babar Hassan Bharwana and former justice Ikramullah Khan form the four-member bench of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to have visited the jail to hold the contempt proceedings.

The bench adjourned the hearing till December 27 given that a petition against Khan’s jail trial was pending in the LHC.

Speaking to the media outside Adiala Jail after the hearing, Khan’s counsel Advocate Shoaib Shaheen said, the ECP initiated jail trial of the former PM without following any law.

He said the contempt proceedings merited open trial for the purpose of transparency and fairness.

The defence lawyer said Khan’s legal team was not allowed to take files and relevant documents to the case hearing in the jail.

“Where is the level playing field if we cannot discuss this case with him (Khan)? The ECP needs to ensure level playing field,” he said.

Shaheen said it was the duty of the ECP, courts and district administration that everyone was treated equally.

In addition, former PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry, through his counsel and brother Faisal Chaudhry, moved a petition before the ECP bench for open trial in the contempt case, challenging the transparency and legality of this case in in-camera trial.

Earlier on December 13, in an unprecedented development, the ECP bench, for the first time, visited Adiala Jail for conducting contempt proceedings against Khan and Chaudhry.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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