Govt fails to produce Imran before ECP

Indictment of PTI chief, Asad Umar, Fawad Chaudhry in contempt case delayed

Our Correspondent November 13, 2023



The Election Commission’s tribunal on Monday adjourned the contempt case proceedings against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan as well as former federal ministers Asad Umar and Fawad Chaudhry as they did not appear before it.

A four-member commission led by the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) Sindh member Nisar Durrani heard the case.

The accused were set to be indicted on charges of insulting the electoral body and its chief commissioner.
The PTI chairman and Fawad were both currently incarcerated in separate cases.

During the proceedings, Durrani remarked that if there were prevailing security concerns, the hearing could be held in prison.

The interior secretary replied that the tribunal could do so if it wished to.

“We have no objections to this,” the secretary added.

A member of the commission then asked whether the law would permit this.

The interior secretary again replied that the law ministry would have to be consulted on the matter.
Fawad's lawyer apprised the court that his client was on judicial remand at Adiala Jail.

A member of the commission observed that the ECP was an independent constitutional body with its own rules. “No other law apart from the Constitution and the Election Act is applicable,” the member said.

The tribunal adjourned the hearing till Dec 6.

The ECP had initiated contempt proceedings against Imran, Asad, and Fawad for issuing statements against the electoral body and the chief election commissioner.

The Punjab police had earlier, on behalf of the interior ministry, apprised the tribunal that Imran could not be produced before the commission due to threats to his life.

Asad and Fawad had both apologised to the CEC and the ECP.

Separately, both Asad and Fawad renounced their party membership.

Separately, the ECP rejected the news regarding the appointment of district returning officers and returning officers circulating in a section of the media as “baseless and contrary to the facts”, saying it had not taken any such decision yet.

“The Election Commission completely denies all such baseless reports.”

It said that it had repeatedly written letters to the provincial election commissioners for the lists for the appointment of DROs and ROs to prepare updated lists.

“This is an ongoing process in which the Election Commission considers the appointment of DROs and ROs as very important to ensure fair, transparent, and impartial general elections and the appointment is seen from different angles so that the general elections are impartial and transparent.

“The Election Commission is well aware of all its constitutional responsibilities.”


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