ECP indicts Imran and Fawad in contempt case

PTI to challenge indictment inside jail in high court

Imran Asghar January 03, 2024
Ex-Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhry and founder PTI Imran Khan. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE


The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) indicted former prime minister Imran Khan and former information minister Fawad Chaudhry in a contempt case held inside Adiala Jail on Wednesday. Both Imran and Fawad, detained in Rawalpindi’s renowned prison in connection with different cases, appeared before the four-member bench led by ECP provincial member from Sindh, Nisar Durrani. When the bench read out the charge-sheet, both politicians pleaded not guilty.

The proceedings were attended by ECP’s lawyers and counsels for Imran and Fawad, including Barrister Ali Bukhari, Barrister Umair Niazi, and former minister’s wife, Hiba Fawad. The bench adjourned the case till January 16. Stringent security measures were in place during the contempt case hearing.
After the hearing, lawyer Ali Bukhari mentioned in a media conversation that he informed the ECP about Imran’s leading counsel, Shahid Shoaib's engagement in the Supreme Court. He urged the ECP not to rush and delay the proceedings.

Read ECP to indict PTI leaders, Fawad in contempt case

"However, the Election Commission did not postpone the hearing and proceeded with reading out the charges. Our second request was against Imran's trial in jail, but the ECP dismissed it,” he said. The lawyer expressed the party’s determination to challenge the charge-sheet in the high court.
Barrister Umair Niazi stated that the charges were baseless and Imran alleged statement did not constitute contempt for the chief election commissioner (CEC) and the ECP.

He mentioned that Imran Khan informed the bench that his party has approached the Supreme Court against one of the commission members and advocated for that member's removal from the bench. Niazi highlighted that PTI dissolved assemblies in two provinces where it held power to ensure timely elections. “However, the ECP failed in conducting the elections. PTI is being excluded from elections under the London Agreement," he claimed.

Hiba Fawad mentioned to the media that during the hearing, it was revealed that a reference was filed against an ECP member who is part of the bench, rendering them unable to preside over this case. She claimed that her husband was not given the opportunity to respond to the ECP’s show cause notice, and the polls supervisory authority rushed to indict him.

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“We will, nevertheless, defend ourselves at every level of the case,” she said. PTI leader Asghar Chaudhry informed the press outside the jail that during the proceedings, Imran became furious with the bench. “He [Imran] told the ECP members they are biased and might one day face trial under Article 6 for high treason,” he said, adding that the ECP members were taken aback by this statement.

The ECP initiated contempt proceedings against PTI's former chairman Imran in August 2022, along with former PTI leaders Asad Umar and Fawad Chaudhry, for allegedly using "intemperate" language against the CEC and the polls oversight authority."




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