ECP directs Imran Khan to reply to notice until 23rd
by Masood Rehman
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday ruled that it had the jurisdiction to hear contempt of court cases and issued a show-cause notice to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in a contempt case against him directing to furnish reply until August 23.
The ECP rejected Khan's objections that it had no jurisdiction to entertain contempt cases. A five-member bench of the ECP, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Justice (r) Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, issued a show-cause notice to the PTI chairman, directing him to reply to a contempt petition against him by August 23.
Earlier on July 25, the ECP had reserves its verdict on PTI's objection to its (ECP) jurisdiction to entertain contempt pleas. Imran Khan's counsel Dr Babar Awan had contended that only the SC and the high courts had the power to take up and initiate proceedings for contempt under the Constitution.
He said a legal framework needed to be put in place in order for the ECP to take up contempt proceedings. The ECP had issued the contempt notice to Imran Khan on January 24 on his "contemptuous and scandalous remarks" about the commission.
Akbar S Babar, the petitioner who had also filed the foreign funding case against the PTI leadership, had informed the ECP that PTI chief had accused the ECP of being biased in the foreign funding case following which his counsel tendered an apology with the commission. In a TV interview, he claimed, Khan had said his counsel had apologised in his personal capacity and he had not apologised to the commission.