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Friday April 12, 2024

Contempt case: ECP directs Imran Khan, Asad Umar, Fawad Chaudhry to appear

Contempt notice sent last year to Imran, Asad and Fawad for insulting commission during public meetings, pressers

By Mumtaz Alvi
January 04, 2023
PTI Secretary General Asad Umar (left) Chairman Imran Khan, and Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry. — Twitter/Instagram/PID/File
PTI Secretary General Asad Umar (left) Chairman Imran Khan, and Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry. — Twitter/Instagram/PID/File

ISLAMABAD: In line with the directives given by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Monday directed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, Secretary General Asad Umar and Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry to appear before it on the next date of hearing in the contempt case.

A three-member bench, headed by Sindh Member Nisar Durrani, heard the contempt of the commission case against Imran, Asad and Fawad. The apex court has restrained the electoral body from issuing the final orders in the case till the PTI leaders’ petition was decided.

During the hearing, lawyer Ali Bukhari appeared on behalf of PTI leaders and took the stand that Fawad’s mother was seriously ill and he was in a hospital in Lahore with her. Also, his brother Faisal Chaudhry is a lawyer in this case and both brothers are with their mother at present. He continued that Imran has not yet been allowed to travel.

To this, an ECP member inquired about his medical report which claims that the PTI chief was not able to travel. The PTI lawyer promised to submit the report before the bench.

Moreover, the member of the commission said that he had not yet responded to the show cause, directing him to submit the application for an exemption from attendance.

Asad Umar’s lawyer Anwar Mansoor said that the PTI secretary general was to attend the hearing but he could not make it to the federal capital. He contended, “We have applied against the show cause notice, all the three cases are of the same nature. The hearing will be held together and I will give a mandatory reply to the show cause on the next date.”

On the occasion, the ECP DG law said that he had written in the show cause notice that this notice had been issued from the Election Commission.

The ECP bench said that warrants were being issued for the appearance of the parties. To this, lawyer Ali Bukhari said that if a warrant was issued, then their application would not be heard.

Senior lawyer Anwar Mansoor argued that instead of the warrant, ECP should make it the final appearance.

Ali Bukhari said that if they do not appear on the next appearance, then a warrant should be issued. The ECP member said that “we order on this”, after which the hearing of the case was adjourned till January 17.

It may be recalled that in August last year the ECP had issued a contempt notice to Imran, Asad and Fawad for insulting the commission during various public meetings, press conferences and several interviews. The notice charged that they insulted and passed unparliamentary, intemperate and contemptuous remarks against the electoral body on various occasions.