Thursday Sep 14, 2017
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued on Thursday bailable warrants of arrest against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for failing to appear before it in the contempt of court case against him.
The ECP ordered Imran to submit a surety bond of Rs100,000 until September 25 and nominate two persons who would ensure payment of the amount and be held responsible otherwise.
Imran was also ordered to appear on that day in the commission in person.
Earlier, during the hearing of contempt proceedings, PTI chief's counsel Babar Awan argued before the ECP that proceedings against his client should be postponed until the matter is decided by the high court.
The five-member ECP bench, headed by chief election commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Raza Khan, had summoned Imran in person on Thursday but he failed to do so.
Presenting his arguments before the ECP bench, Awan contended that the ECP should halt its proceedings in the case as the PTI's challenge to ECP's jurisdiction will be heard by a larger bench of the Islamabad High Court today.
He added that his client has reached Pakistan this morning and is willing to come for the hearing if the bench summons him.
The ECP then reserved its decision on Awan's plea and announced it later, requiring Imran's presence by September 25.
Later in the day, Islamabad High Court dismissed the petition submitted by the PTI counsel. Imran Khan has requested for a stay order on the contempt of court hearing against him in the ECP.
The ECP had issued the contempt notice to Khan on January 24 over his “scandalous remarks” about the commission.
Akbar Babar, the petitioner who had filed the foreign funding case against the PTI leadership, had informed the ECP that the PTI chief had accused it of being biased in the foreign funding case following which his counsel tendered an apology with the commission.
The PTI chief had challenged the ECP’s decision to hear a contempt case against him.
The PTI had petitioned the IHC seeking an end to the contempt of court hearing against Imran.