ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan has finally issued production orders for jailed PTI Chairman Imran Khan in contempt cases fixed for hearing on October 24.

Advocate Shoaib Shaheen, while appearing on October 11 before a four-member bench of the ECP, headed by Member Sindh Nisar Ahmad Durrani, had said the PTI chairman was in jail and it was not possible for him to attend the ECP cases unless a production order was issued.

A written order shared with the media on Thursday says “it is matter of record that the matter was pending adjudication since August 2022 and has to be decided without any further delay.

Since the respondent is in jail and his personal appearance is mandatory to proceed further with the matter. ln such view of the matter, there is no alternate except to issue production order of respondent namely Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi“.

Issuing the production order under Section 10 of Elections Act, 2017, read with rule 4 of Elections Rules, 2017, and further read with relevant provision of Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003, the Order said “under this production order, respondent shall be produced only before Election Commission of Pakistan on 24.10.2023 at 10am and, after culmination of proceedings, the respondent shall be returned into jail forthwith”.

ECP directs PTI chief be produced on Oct 24; bailable warrants issued for Fawad Chaudhry

The bench asked the office to convey the directions to the Superintendent of Adyala Jail, Rawalpindi, to make all necessary arrangements for producing the respondent before the ECP.

Inspector General of Police, Islamabad, and Inspector General of Police, Punjab, have been asked to ensure foolproof security arrangements for production of Mr Khan when the case comes up for framing of the charge against him.

The charge is to be framed against the former prime minister in two separate cases — one for contempt of the Commission and the other for contempt of Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja.

The ECP bench also issued bailable warrants against former PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry in the contempt of ECP and CEC cases.

One of the orders reads: “The previous order dated 22.08.2023 was to be complied by respondent but he is not in attendance despite direction for personal appearance. Qamar lnayat, Advocate, appeared on behalf of Faisal Fareed Chaudhry, Senior Counsel for respondent.

He states that respondent is unwell due to which he is unable to appear before Commission and Faisal Fareed has to appear before Honourable High Court. He made a request for adjournment. lt reveals from previous order sheets that respondent is seeking adjournments on one or the other pretext and is reluctant to appear voluntarily.

“In such view of the matter, we have been left with no alternate except to issue bailable warrant of respondent. Consequently, bailable warrant of arrest against respondent (Fawad) is issued in the sum of Rs50,000/ with two sureties in the like amount each,” the orders read.

According to the orders, the bailable warrant shall be executed through the Inspector General of Police, Islamabad, who shall ensure the compliance strictly in accordance with law. The office is to take the follow-up action and list the matter on October 24 at 10am for framing of the charge against the respondent.

Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2023

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