Contempt case against Imran: ECP to announce verdict on July 10

July 4, 2017

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), in the contempt of court case against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman, on Tuesday gave Imran Khan a week to submit his reply.

At the last hearing on June 19, the ECP had adjourned proceedings till giving Imran a ‘last chance’ to file his reply in the case after the PTI counsel had said Imran was out of station.

The contempt proceedings against the PTI chief were initiated after Khan accused the ECP of political bias in the case against the PTI’s ‘foreign funding’ initiated on the petition of disgruntled former party leader Akbar Babar.

During Tuesday’s hearing, PTI counsel Shahid Gondal informed Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Sardar Raza Khan that Imran has finalised his reply but will submit it after consultations with Babar Awan, a seasoned lawyer who has recently joined the party and replaced Gondal.

The CEC came down hard on the PTI counsel’s ‘excuses’, saying the respondent continues to change lawyers, adding that Awan is not registered as a counsel for the PTI chairman. He further said that Imran Khan made the same excuse of being out of city at the last hearing as well after which he was given a ‘last’ chance. “ Imran Khan is sometime in Chitral and sometime in Nathiagali” the CEC said.

“We do not need his [Imran] reply and will announce our verdict at the next hearing,” said the CEC and adjourned the hearing till July 10 after repeated requests for more time from Gondal.

Talking to the media after the hearing, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Danial Aziz expressed surprise at the patience displayed by the ECP in the matter.

He said institutions are not supposed to be so patient when it comes to these issues.

INP