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ISLAMABAD: A four-member panel headed by Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s Member Sindh on Tuesday adjourned hearing on contempt of election commission against the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) till January 24.

The founder of PTI and former federal minister Fawad Chaudhry were indicted in the ECP contempt case in the last hearing.

In August 2022, the ECP issued notices to the founder of PTI and others for allegedly using “intemperate” language against Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja and other members of the commission.

PTI defence lawyer Shoaib Shaheen claimed that the party was not aware of the hearing and had not received any notice. “We didn’t know that the commission won’t conduct trial in jail but at the commission,” he added, “You didn’t summon the PDM parties which use contemptuous language against the Supreme Court”.

The ECP member said the date was announced in the previous hearing in jail. He accused the PTI that they abused them and they did nothing against it.

In Rahim Yar Khan 150 people were booked in cases, he complained. “Why do you attack the electoral staff,” the Balochistan member questioned. “How the accused behaved in jail, we also tolerate it,” the member added.

The ECP also issued fresh directives which disallowed ROs and DROs from changing election symbols of candidates for the upcoming elections.

The ECP told ROs and DROs that at this phase stage with the elections coming near the changing of election symbols should be avoided.

"If the need to change the election symbol is so important then the commission should be asked for a change," the ECP told ROs.

According to the ECP, the printing of the ballot papers has started and it may not be possible at this stage to change the election symbol.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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