The apex court permitted the ECP to go ahead with the contempt proceedings against Imran Khan and other PTI leaders
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday permitted the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to go ahead with the contempt proceedings against former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and other party leaders.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Umer Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ayesha A Malik and Justice Athar Minallah heard the ECP s petition seeking transfer and consolidation of cases filed by the PTI with different high courts challenging its contempt notices.
The court observed that the high courts had not restrained the electoral body from taking action against Imran and other party leaders but from taking a disciplinary action. The court asked the counsel for the ECP to also examine the objections to the show-cause notices served upon the PTI leaders.
Sajeel Swati, counsel for the Election Commission, submitted that the Lahore High Court had restrained the commission from taking disciplinary action against Imran Khan, Fawad Chaudhry, Asad Umer and other leaders. Justice Ayesha A Malik observed that disciplinary action could only be taken once the contempt proceedings were over. The judge asked the ECP counsel as to how the respondents were proceeded against in the contempt proceedings.
The counsel replied that Section 10 of the Election Act 2017 authorised the ECP to proceed in contempt matters. The counsel said Imran Khan, Asad Umer and Fawad Chaudhry were not appearing in the contempt proceedings.
He requested the court to direct the respondents to ensure their presence before the ECP and also direct the high courts to conclude the cases at the earliest challenging the contempt notices. Meanwhile, the court disposed of the matter to its extent and allowed the ECP to continue with its proceedings in the matter as per the law and Constitution. The apex court also directed the high courts to decide the pending applications of the petitioners, challenging the ECP notices at the earliest.