ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday sought time to submit its response to the notice of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and informed a four-member bench of the commission about the high court orders restraining it from taking a final decision on the contempt proceedings against the party chairman and two leaders.

Appearing before the bench, PTI lawyer Ali Bukhari also claimed he had “learned of the [ECP] notice only orally”, and requested time to submit the power of attorney to plead the case. He said that he was “unsure why the notice was served” and sought time to submit a response.

Upon this, the commission adjourned the hearing of contempt proceedings against Imran Khan, Asad Umar and Fawad Chaudhry till September 7.

The ECP was also informed that the Rawalpindi bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) on a petition of Mr Fawad also passed an order to restrain the commission from taking a decision in the matter, a day after the Sindh High Court (SHC) had issued a similar order on Mr Umar’s petition.

Commission allows PTI counsel to submit party leaders’ response by Sept 7

According to the ECP spokesperson, notices were issued to Mr Khan and two other PTI leaders for using ‘intemperate, unparliamentary language’ against the electoral body and Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja.

In the notices issued after the electoral body reviewed the speeches of the three leaders, the ECP asked them to explain their position with regard to their ‘contemptuous’ remarks.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Rawalpindi bench of the LHC restrained the ECP from taking action against Mr Fawad on his plea against the notice.

Appearing before Justice Jawad Hassan, Advocate Faisal Farid, the counsel for Mr Fawad, argued that the ECP was not a court and therefore was not protected by the “contempt of court provisions” under the Constitution.

While restraining it from issuing a final order on the contempt matter, the court issued a notice to the ECP seeking its response on September 7.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2022

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