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Thursday February 29, 2024

Imran Khan challenges ECP contempt proceedings, jail trail

“A secret trial in jail is violation of Article 4 of the Constitution,” says PTI founder

By Web Desk
December 09, 2023
Former prime minister Imran Khan arrives at an Islamabad court for a hearing in this file photo. —AFP
Former prime minister Imran Khan arrives at an Islamabad court for a hearing in this file photo. —AFP

Incarcerated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf supremo Imran Khan Saturday challenged the contempt proceedings by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and his jail trial in the Lahore High Court (LHC), days before his indictment in the case.

Earlier this week, a four-member bench of the electoral watchdog had decided to frame charges against the former prime minister — who is currently imprisoned in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail — on December 13 in the contempt case.

The ECP also decided that the contempt case proceedings against the PTI would be carried out inside the jail's premises.

In his petition, the deposed premier — who was removed from office in April last year via a vote of no confidence — stated that ECP did not have jurisdiction to initiate contempt proceedings.

“ECP initiated contempt proceedings [against me] illegally,” he added. “A secret trial in jail is a violation of Article 4 of the Constitution,” the PTI founder warned.

The ex-PM said that the ECP had set December 13 as a date to indict him in the contempt case and urged the LHC to nullify the ECP’s order pertaining to his jail trial in the case.

The proceedings against Imran and two other senior party leaders at that time, Asad Umar and Fawad Chaudhry, were initiated in August last year after they allegedly resorted to using intemperate and contemptuous language against the commission and the chief election commissioner.

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

Instead of appearing before the bench, they challenged the commission’s jurisdiction in several high courts. However, the Supreme Court in January allowed the commission to initiate proceedings against them.

The ECP had decided to indict them initially on June 21, but due to a host of reasons, it is yet to be done.