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ECP warns PTI leaders of ex parte action if they skip next hearing

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  • Trio of PTI leaders misses ECP hearing once again.
  • ECP issued contempt notices to Imran, others.
  • Next hearing scheduled for January 24.

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Tuesday strictly warned Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders of ex parte proceedings if they failed to appear in another hearing of the contempt case.  

The ECP is hearing the case against PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Secretary General Asad Umar and Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry. 

The electoral body had also issued bailable arrest warrants — for the three leaders — which were suspended by the Lahore High Court on Monday. 

At the outset of Tuesday’s hearing, ECP’s Balochistan member questioned, “Where are Imran Khan, Asad Umar, and Fawad Chaudhary?”

At this, Advocate Faisal Chaudhry’s assistant told the ECP panel that the PTI leaders and their counsel could not make it to the hearing because they had to attend former president Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Latif Afridi’s funeral in Peshawar. 

The electoral body’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa member said the high court had suspended their arrest warrants but did not exempt them from attending the proceedings, adding that they did not file an exemption request either.

ECP Sindh member Nisar Durrani said that the ECP will hold ex parte proceedings and announce the verdict if the PTI leaders skip the next hearing.

The ECP panel adjourned the hearing until January 24.

In August last year, the ECP issued a contempt notice to the PTI leaders for insulting the commission and its chief during public meetings, press conferences, and interviews.

LHC suspends ECP’s arrest warrants

On Monday, the LHC Rawalpindi Bench suspended the PTI leaders’ bailable arrest warrants issued by the ECP.

Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan of the LHC suspended the warrants issued by ECP’s four-member bench last week.

Even though the court suspended the warrants, it directed the ECP to carry on with its contempt proceedings against the PTI leaders.

Last week, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry, immediately after the ECP’s decision, announced he would challenge the warrants in the high court and file a contempt plea against ECP.

Court warns PTI against targetting judiciary

During the hearing, the court remarked “PTI seeks relief from the judiciary but targets them in the media”.

“Targeting the judiciary in the media is contempt of court. If Fawad Chaudhry targets the courts in the media again, contempt of court proceedings will be launched,” warned the court.

Justice Khan remarked that Fawad during an interview with an international channel laid the blame for corruption on the judiciary. He also told the PTI leader’s lawyer that the court was granting him relief right now but he should tell his client to refrain from making contemptuous remarks against the courts.

“Enough is enough, the court will no longer show restraint,” remarked Justice Khan.

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Cabinet will probably decide today whether to ban PTI: Fawad ChaudhryCabinet will probably decide today whether to ban PTI: Fawad Chaudhry

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According to the former federal minister, “Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif are standing on the wrong side of history.” He claimed that anybody who supported them would not be looked at.

The nation is experiencing political and economic upheaval, he claimed. An ex-minister claimed, “The government is now causing judicial instability.”

Anarchy is being generated, he claimed. “People will face more hardships; this is just the beginning,” stated Fawad Chaudhry.

As stated by a former PTI leader, “individuals from outside the PTI are committing digital terrorism.” He continued, “Everyone has to avoid them as they want to start fights while they are sitting abroad.”

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PTI is given further time by the ECP to provide documents in the intra-party election case.

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Following an intra-party elections case, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was given an extension by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday to submit its paperwork.

Hearings were held on the PTI intra-party election case before a three-member bench chaired by Sindh ECP member Nisar Durrani.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ECP member questioned who oversaw the PTI elections as it wasn’t an organization.

Regarding the PTI’s recent election, the ECP voiced no objections. Barrister Gohar, the Chief of PTI, replied, “We plan to address a few legal and technical queries given enough time.”

During the raid on the PTI Central Secretariat, he claimed that the police had seized everything, including crucial party records, and that they had not even left a “water dispenser.”

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The PTI has filed a petition with the Lahore High Court to seek permission for holding a protest at Minar-e-Pakistan on August 14.

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In its appeal, PTI said that there will be no unlawful activity during the gathering, which they intended to hold on August 14 at Minar-e-Pakistan.

Permission from the court to hold the rally at Minar-e-Pakistan was requested.

PTI also asked for an injunction to stop harassing the petitioner and their family.

Notifying the Deputy Commissioner and other relevant parties, the court requested their comments. There was a one-week delay in the heating.

Note that the administration was also ordered by the Islamabad High Court to hold talks with the PTI in order to arrange a public gathering.

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