Pak Poll Body Indicts Imran, Fawad in Contempt Case


A four-member bench of the electoral body, headed by Sindh Member Nisar Ahmad Durrani, conducted the hearing of the case in Adiala jail, where both the leaders are incarcerated….reports Asian Lite News

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday indicted former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and former minister Fawad Chaudhry in a case of contempt against the electoral body and the chief election commissioner, Geo News reported.

A four-member bench of the electoral body, headed by Sindh Member Nisar Ahmad Durrani, conducted the hearing of the case in Adiala jail, where both the leaders are incarcerated.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder and ex-minister were present in the courtroom during the hearing and denied the allegations mentioned in the charge sheet.

The ECP then adjourned the hearing on the contempt case till January 16.

Fawad Chaudhry(twitter)

The electoral body had initiated contempt proceedings against the fomer PM, former party leader Asad Umar and Chaudhary for insulting the commission and its chief during various public meetings, press conferences and several interviews.

According to the notice, politicos face the charges of passing unparliamentary, intemperate, and contemptuous remarks against the ECP on various occasions.

The political leaders were asked to either personally appear before the commission bench to clear their position or through their counsel.

However, the leaders challenged the commission’s jurisdiction in several high courts. However, the Supreme Court in January 2023 allowed the commission to initiate proceedings against them and on June 21, the ECP decided to frame charges against them which was yet to be done.

According to the chargesheet, the PTI founder and former minister launched a contemptuous campaign against the ECP under a plan in 2022, Geo News reported.

“The accused used non-parliamentary language against the ECP in a public gathering in Bhakkar on July 12, 2022,” it stated.

The charge sheet further alleged that the accused committed contempt against ECP under the Election Act 2017 and the electoral body has the jurisdiction to take action against the accused as per Supreme Court’s observation.

The prosecution, in the sheet, called for initiation of a trial against the accused in the light of evidences, videos and documents.

During the previous hearing on December 27, the electoral watchdog could not charge the PTI founder and ex-information minister. The hearing and the charge sheeting of the two were adjourned until January 3.

Reacting strongly against the verdict, PTI leader Asghar Chaudhry, lamented that “such an Election Commission was never seen even during the martial law era”

“You rejected the nomination papers of the candidates and took away the papers from them. Even cruelty has an end,” Geo News quoted him as saying. (ANI)

PTI to Approach SC Against Decision Over Symbol

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has announced that it will challenge the Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) ruling, restoring the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) order which had revoked the party electoral symbol ‘bat’, Pakistan-based The Express Tribune reported. PTI chairman Barrister Gohar Khan said that it will approach the Supreme Court to challenge the PHC’s decision.

While addressing the media on Wednesday, Gohar Khan strongly criticised the Peshawar High Court’s decision, calling it the “most brazen reflection of the ECP’s partiality.” He said that the party would escalate the matter to the apex court.

Expressing reservations about the “legitimacy of the election,” Khan raised questions over ECP’s declaration that the PTI’s intra-party polls were “unconstitutional,” which caused the withdrawal of the party’s electoral symbol ‘bat’.

Highlighting the importance of the electoral symbol ‘bat’, the PTI chief stressed that its absence would raise doubt on the international recognition of the polls. He said, “I think that taking away the ‘bat’ from PTI raises a question of legitimacy with regard to the election. If you take away the ‘bat’, the world will not recognise your election,” The Express Tribune reported.

He requested the Supreme Court to listen to them. He said, “I think this decision was given in haste […] we will approach the Supreme Court against it,” he said. “So we urge the SC, that we will come to you tomorrow. Do us this kindness and listen to us.”

Gohar Khan stated that PTI candidates will participate independently if the Pakistan Supreme Court does not reinstate the ‘bat’ symbol. He urged the court to designate an alternative symbol. However, he said the party will not boycott the polls, according to The Express Tribune report.

On Wednesday, the PHC lifted the stay order and reinstated the ECP’s decision to nullify the PTI’s intra-party polls and revoked the party’s election symbol, the ‘bat.’ The court’s decision follows its verdict on December 26, in response to the PTI’s petition challenging the ECP’s decision.

Earlier in December, the ECP invalidated PTI’s intra-party elections, citing non-compliance with electoral regulations. Subsequently, the PTI contested the electoral watchdog’s decision in the Peshawar High Court.

In the PTI intra-party election, Barrister Gohar Ali Khan was elected as the PTI’s chairman. Gohar was nominated by PTI founder Imran Khan, who is currently incarcerated in Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail.

However, the PHC on December 26, suspended the ECP’s decision to nullify the PTI’s intra-party polls and revoke its symbol ‘bat.’ In its order, the court asked the ECP to publish the PTI’s certificate on its website and restore the electoral symbol of the party. After the PHC’s decision, the commission decided to contest the court’s decision through an intra-court appeal filed on December 30, 2023. (ANI)

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