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Monday February 26, 2024

Imran Khan, other PTI leaders get last chance to avoid contempt charges

Lawyer of Imran Khan and Fawad Chaudhry, appealed to ECP to revoke its order order for Khan to personally appear before it

By Web Desk
March 29, 2023
(from Left to Right) PTI chief Imran Khan, Asad Umar and Fawad Chaudhry. The News/File
(from Left to Right) PTI chief Imran Khan, Asad Umar and Fawad Chaudhry. The News/File

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) convened a hearing regarding a contempt case involving several leaders from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), including its Chairman Imran Khan, Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry, and Secretary General Asad Umar.

The ECP bench, consisting of three members and led by Sindh member Nisar Durrani, awaited the appearance of the PTI leaders but ultimately adjourned the hearing until April 18 due to their non-appearance.

During the hearing, Faisal Chaudhry, who represented both Imran Khan and Fawad Chaudhry, filed a plea to postpone the hearing and revoke the ECP's order, which directed Imran Khan to appear in person. He requested that the order be revoked until the Lahore High Court (LHC) announced its verdict. However, the ECP bench rejected the plea, insisting that the PTI leaders needed to present their arguments that day.

Anwar Mansoor, who represented Asad Umar, argued that his client could not appear before the ECP as he was required to attend an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in connection with the "150 cases filed against PTI leaders". 

Mansoor added that it was challenging for them to attend all the courts at once. In response, Durrani acknowledged the points raised in the plea, but stated that a decision had to be made on them.

Meanwhile, another member of the ECP bench, Shah Muhammad Jatoi, warned that charges would be framed against the PTI leaders if they failed to appear before the commission. 

The hearing was adjourned until the next date, when the PTI leaders would appear before the ECP to provide their arguments.