Imran Khan to face contempt of court proceedings for biased allegations against Election Commission

Islamabad: Pakistan's opposition leader Imran Khan is facing contempt of court proceedings after the Election Commission on Thursday set aside his objections challenging the EC's jurisdiction to initiate such proceedings, a media report said.

The Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief had on 10 July submitted a reply before an EC tribunal, saying the commission could not initiate contempt of court proceedings against an individual as that right lies with the Supreme Court and the high courts.

A five-member tribunal heard a plea by Akbar S Babar seeking Khan's disqualification and rejected the PTI chief's objections regarding its jurisdiction to initiate contempt of court proceedings, Dawn reported.

File image of Imran Khan. Getty Images

File image of Imran Khan. Getty Images

The same was argued before the commission by Khan's lawyer Babar Awan. "If the ECP is equal to a high court, will a full-bench conduct proceedings every day?" Awan had asked, arguing that the Constitution gives the EC a different status from that enjoyed by the high courts. "If a full bench of the EC gives a verdict, where will I file my appeal?"

The tribunal had reserved its judgement on the matter after Awan's statements. In light of today's ruling, the tribunal will continue to hear the petition against Khan. The EC has also issued Khan a show-cause notice and asked him to submit a reply by 23 August.

In January, the EC had issued a contempt notice to Khan over his contentious remarks in a review application filed before the election body.

During the hearing of a contempt petition filed by Babar, a former founding member of PTI who parted ways with the party and is now the complainant in the foreign funding case against his old party, the commission took exception to the remarks made by Khan alleging "bias" in favour of the petitioner for "extraneous reasons, including political."

Khan had filed the review application against the EC's order to produce the PTI's financial documents before the commission.

Published Date: Aug 11, 2017 08:25 AM | Updated Date: Aug 11, 2017 17:13 PM

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