The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday deferred its decision in the contempt of court case filed against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan to October 12.
A four-member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) retired Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza asked PTI counsel Shahid Gondal about the status of the petition filed by the party in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against ECP’s judgement regarding the maintainability of the contempt petition.
The PTI counsel informed the bench that the high court had adjourned hearing of the petition until October 11. However, the election commissioner remarked that the bench had not received a copy of the IHC order as yet.
The bench subsequently adjourned the hearing of the contempt petition until October 12.
"We will issue our decision if the Islamabad High Court does not decide the case by October 12," CEC Raza remarked.
The contempt petition against Khan had been moved by founding member of the PTI, Akbar S. Babar, after the ECP found the party’s petition seeking review of the commission’s order requiring it to submit financial documents in the foreign funding case as contemptuous, followed by its immediate withdrawal, apology tendered by his junior counsel Saqlain Haider, and Imran Khan saying that his counsel had tendered apology in his personal capacity. A formal contempt notice had been issued to Khan on August 24.
During Monday's hearing, the PTI chief finally owned the unconditional apology tendered by his counsel to the ECP in January — a week before the contempt petition was filed against him.
“The answering respondent reiterates his position earlier taken before this commission. The answering respondent holds the institute of the Election Commission of Pakistan in high esteem and believes in supremacy of ... constitutional forums,” Khan said in a written reply submitted to the ECP.