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Supreme Court serves notice to Imran Khan in ECP contempt case

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  • Supreme Court adjourns the case hearing for the next two weeks.
  • SC also seeks responses from Fawad Chaudhry and Asad Umar.
  • ECP alleges Khan levelled “baseless allegations” against commisison.

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Tuesday served notices to PTI Chairman Imran Khan and his aides — Fawad Chaudhry and Asad Umar — in contempt of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) case.

A three-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ayesha A Malik, and Justice Athar Minallah heard the case filed by the ECP to transfer all its contempt cases against PTI leaders from different high courts to a single one.

The election commission has accused the ex-premier of levelling “baseless allegations” against the ECP and its chief in his addresses on July 18, 21, 27, August 4 and 10.

Today’s hearing

During the course of proceedings, the bench remarked that the election commission requested to transfer the cases pending in different high courts to one high court.

The ECP was of the opinion that they should prepare for local and general elections or had to fight cases in different courts, it added.

The chief justice said that the ECP also presented a judicial precedent of merging cases with the order of the Supreme Court. The Election Commission is relying on Article 186A, he added.

He asked the ECP counsel whether there was a precedent of the Supreme Court to merge the cases of different high courts. At this, the lawyer said that the top court ordered the consolidation of income tax cases pending in various high courts in 1999.

(L tor R) PTI leaders Asad Umar, chairperson Imran Khan, and Fawad Chaudhry. — AFP/File
(L tor R) PTI leaders Asad Umar, chairperson Imran Khan, and Fawad Chaudhry. — AFP/File

Upon this, the CJP said that clubbing of cases pending in different high courts must have the same point of law. He asked who were the petitioners in contempt of election commission cases in the high courts.

The counsel replied that PTI leaders Khan, Chaudhry, and Umar had filed cases against the election commission in the different high courts.

Justice Malik said that the Supreme Court, in the PEMRA cases, had declared that the high court cases would continue and would not be clubbed.

But Justice Minallah said that the Supreme Court had clubbed all the cases of the high courts in the Hajj assistants case.

The ECP counsel said that cases of the same nature would have conflicting judgments in different high courts.

Justice Malik said that the apex court would decide when the conflicting decisions are challenged before the Supreme Court.

The Chief Justice asked under which constitutional authority did the Supreme Court order clubbing of cases pending in the different high courts.

The counsel then said that the injunctions of the high courts in the contempt of election commission case had also been challenged in the Supreme Court.

The court directed the ECP petitions against the injunction of the high courts should also be fixed with this case.

Subsequently, the hearing of the case was adjourned for two weeks.

Petition

The ECP, in its petition, had stated that it had issued contempt notices to PTI chief Khan as well as other party leaders, including Umar and Chaudhry in the months of August and September.

However, these notices were challenged in high courts.

The ECP noted that under Section 10 of the Election Act, 2017, it had the authority to initiate contempt proceedings being a constitutional body.

The commission further stated that Khan and Chaudhry had challenged the contempt notices before the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench, while Asad Umar had challenged it before the Sindh High Court.

Another one was challenged before the Islamabad High Court.

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Judge Muhammad Ali Warraich postpones the £190 million corruption lawsuit until June 21.

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The £190 million corruption case at Adiala Jail was heard by Judge Muhammad Ali Waraich of the Accountability Court. The hearing was postponed until June 21.

The cross-examination and statement of one witness took place during the case hearing. At the next hearing, four more witnesses will be put through cross-examination.

Up to now, 30 witness statements have been recorded, of which 22 have already undergone cross-examination.

Bushra Bibi, the founder of the PTI, was in court today throughout the proceedings.

The PTI’s legal representatives in the lawsuit included Shoaib Shaheen, Niazullah Niazi, Salman Akram Raja, and Ali Zafar.

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Nationwide protest gatherings will be held by the PTI on June 14.

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Zahir Shah, the minister of food for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has said that Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) will stage protests across the country to demand the release of PTI founder Imran Khan.

On June 14, protests around the country would take place, according to Zahir Shah Toru.

He added that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s chief minister had made plans for protests in every district.

In the protests, fictitious accusations made against PTI founder Imran Khan and its leadership will be denounced.

There would be no breaking of the law or the constitution, according to KP Minister Zahir Shah.

At 5:00 p.m., the Mardan demonstration will take place.

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Shah Mehmood, founder of the PTI, and others found not guilty in Azadi March case

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Information suggests that court magistrate Malik Muhammad Imran exonerated Imran Khan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and Sheikh Rasheed, the chief of AML, in addition to announcing the reserved verdict.

Acquittal of Sadaqat Abbasi and Ali Nawaz Awan from the Azadi March case was also ordered by the court.

It should be mentioned that numerous prominent members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), like as Shah Mahmood Qureshi, former prime minister Imran Khan, and others, were apprehended by the police in separate complaint letters pertaining to the Azadi March.

Following unrest between police and the PTI leader in the provincial capital, 42 charges were filed against PTI senior leaders and workers for agitation.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had previously found former prime minister Imran Khan and PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi not guilty in a case involving ciphers.

Decisions on appeals from the cipher case’s conviction were announced by Chief Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb of the IHC.

The party’s vice-chairman and founder, who was convicted in a similar case in January of this year, received 10-year prison sentences apiece.

On the other hand, Qureshi’s arrest in the crimes that occurred on May 9th and Imran’s sentences in the Toshakhana and Iddat cases mean that they are unlikely to be released from prison anytime soon.

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