Wednesday Mar 29, 2023
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) gave last chance to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders to appear before its bench hearing the contempt charges against them on April 18.
The Election Commission held the hearing of the contempt case involving multiple PTI leaders, including party's chairman Imran Khan, Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry, and Secretary General Asad Umar on Tuesday.
The ECP bench, consisting of three members and led by Sindh member Nisar Durrani, awaited the appearance of the PTI leaders before adjourning the hearing until April 18 due to their non-appearance.
During the hearing, Faisal Chaudhry, who represented both Imran Khan and Fawad Chaudhry, filed a plea to postpone the hearing and challenged the ECP's order, which directed Imran Khan to appear in person. He requested that the order be revoked until the Lahore High Court (LHC) announced its verdict. However, the ECP bench rejected the plea, insisting that the PTI leaders needed to present their arguments that day.
Anwar Mansoor, who represented Asad Umar, argued that his client could not appear before the ECP as he was required to attend an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in connection with the "150 cases filed against PTI leaders". He added that it was challenging for them to attend all courts at once. In response, Durrani acknowledged the points raised in the plea, but stated that a decision had to be made on them.
On the other hand, another member of the ECP bench, Shah Muhammad Jatoi, warned that charges would be framed against the PTI leaders if they failed to appear before the commission. The hearing was adjourned until the next date, with the hope that the PTI leaders would appear before the ECP and provide their arguments.