ECP delays Imran Khan contempt case decision till October 12

  • The election body was set to announce verdict on September 27
  • CEC retired Justice Sardar Raza says decision will be announced after IHC's hearing on Oct. 11
Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday postponed its decision in the contempt case against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan until October 12.

A four-member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) retired Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza resumed the hearing of the case filed by Akbar S Babar against the PTI chief for using derogatory language against the election body.

During the hearing, the bench asked PTI counsel Shahid Gondal about the status of the petition filed by the party with the Islamabad High Court (ICH) against ECP’s judgement regarding conducting hearing of contempt case.

The PTI counsel informed that the case has been adjourned until October 11.

In response, the CEC remarked that the ECP will announce its decision on October 12 if the high court does not issue its ruling for the petition.

Akbar Babar, who is also a petitioner in the foreign funding case against the PTI leadership, had moved the election body after Khan accused it of being biased in the funding case.

In 2014, Babar moved the ECP to disqualify PTI Chairman Imran Khan for allegedly taking funds from illegal sources and irregularities in the bank accounts of the party.

In his written reply during last hearing on Monday, Imran Khan said that he had filed an apology through his lawyer Saqlain Haider, adding that he had never opposed the apology. Following the submission of the apology, the case should have been decided, he further said.

“My counsel appeared as pleader/advocate with full authority to act on my behalf to set at rest the liss/contempt proceeding,” reads Khan’s written reply.

The ECP had said that the decision will be announced after reviewing the reply of the PTI chairman on September 27.

On September 14, the ECP had issued bailable warrants against Imran to ensure his presence in the case, besides directing him to submit a surety bond of Rs100,000 until September 25.

Later, the warrants were suspended by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) after the accused party moved the court on September 20. The high court directed Imran Khan to submit reply to the show-cause notice issued by the ECP.