The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday rejected Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's response to a contempt of court case filed against him and gave him another chance to submit a fresh reply within the week.

PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry had submitted Khan's response to the ECP bench, prompting the chief election commissioner (CEC), retired justice Sardar Muhammad Raza to ask the counsel to review his client's response.

"The matter of contempt of court is actually a case of misunderstanding," read Chaudhry.

However, the CEC responded that: "After reviewing the response, it is clear that Imran Khan has taken back the review petition; however, he has yet to apologise."

"[Even] the person who drafted this application has also apologised," Chaudhry insisted.

"I don't think the counsel has even read the application," replied the CEC.

"[So] you're giving a lawyer the benefit of the doubt, but not Imran Khan," quipped Chaudhry.

"This case was one of misunderstanding and should be forgiven," he insisted.

"We have forgiven anyone who has sought forgiveness until today," responded the CEC.

The ECP then proceeded to rejecting Imran Khan's response and giving him time to submit a fresh one by June 7.

"Imran Khan can even choose to adjust his submitted response," the ECP added.

Representing PTI, Shahid Gondal requested the ECP to initiate a contempt of court case against Daniyal Aziz.

"We will look into the matter when we receive your application in front of us," the CEC stated.

Party funding

Hearing PTI's party funding case, a five-member ECP bench, headed by the CEC, on Wednesday issued the verdict that the commission has the right to investigate the party funding matter, and gave PTI until June 22 to submit its records to the commission.

"The Election Commission reserves complete authority to investigate party bank accounts," the ECP's judgement read.

"The ECP also reserves the right to take a suo moto notice on any matter," the judgement added.

The Election Commission also ruled that "Political parties' bank statements are not meant to be kept in bank vaults, but are meant to be scrutinised."

"PTI has been trying its level best to make sure that their bank accounts cannot be scrutinised. If their accounts are clean and free of any wrongdoing, then what is the matter with investigating them?" the ECP's verdict read.

Representing PTI, Fawad Chaudhry and Faisal Chaudhry were present in the Election Commission's hearing on the matter.

"Our colleague, Anwar Mansoor, could not make it today as his flight was delayed," Advocate Faisal Chaudhry told the Commission.

Clarifying the ECP's status on the issue, the CEC said: "The Supreme Court has asked for records regarding PTI's funding, which we have provided."

"Is it safe to assume that the Supreme Court is in the mood to announce a verdict?" he asked the counsel.

"The Supreme Court is definitely ready to announce a verdict," Faisal Chaudhry responded.

"Whatever decision the Supreme Court makes is going make will be very important," the CEC said. "We are ready to give PTI some more time to submit more records."

The ECP postponed the party funding hearing till June 22 after asking the party to submit more details.


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