LAHORE: Incarcerated PTI Chairman Imran Khan has approached the Lahore High Court challenging the contempt proceedings against him initiated by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

A writ petition filed through Advocate Sameer Khosa also assailed constitutional vires of section 10 of the Election Act 2017, which grant the chief election commissioner (CEC) the authority to punish any person for contempt of the ECP.

The petition contends that the impugned order issued by the ECP incorrectly holds that the CEC has the jurisdiction to issue a show-cause notice and proceed in the matter.

It argues that the CEC has no such authority and has wrongly assumed jurisdiction.

It says section 10 read with 4(2) of the Election Act and rule 4 of the 2017 rules, which purport to cloak the CEC with alleged jurisdiction are patently ultra vires to the Constitution.

The petition pleads that section 10 grants the CEC the same power as a high court to punish for contempt and comes in direct conflict with article 204 of the Constitution.

The petition of the PTI chief, who has been jailed in Toshakhana case, asks the court to declare that sections 10 and 4(2) of the Elections Act 2017 and Rule 4 of the Election Rules 2017 are in contradiction to the Constitution and liable to be struck down.

It also asks the court to set aside the impugned order of the CEC passed on June 5, 2023, as being unlawful, illegal, without jurisdiction, mala fide, and contrary to the law as declared by the superior courts.

The petition requests the court to also quash the proceedings initiated against the petitioner and any proceedings continuing subsequent to the impugned order and restrain the ECP from initiating any proceedings or taking any action in the matter.

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2023

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