- ECP seeks SC’s order to carry forward the contempt proceedings against Imran Khan and other PTI leaders.
- Suspect can not challenge electoral watchdog’s proceedings after submitting a written reply, says ECP.
- Despite assuring LHC, suspects were not appearing before ECP, the electoral watchdog tells SC.
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) filed in the Supreme Court on Tuesday a petition urging the apex court to lift the stay order issued by the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the electoral watchdog’s contempt notices to PTI Chairman Imran Khan and the other leaders of the party.
The ECP had on August 19 issued notices to Khan, Fawad Chaudhry and Asad Umar for “contemptuous” remarks against the electoral watchdog. In its notices, the ECP accused the ex-premier of levelling “baseless allegations” at the ECP and its chief in his addresses on July 18, 21, 27, August 4 and 10.
On September 2, the Rawalpindi bench of the LHC suspended the contempt notices to the PTI leaders by the ECP.
In its petition, the ECP pleaded with the top court to lift the stay order issued by the LHC. The electoral watchdog sought the court’s permission to carry forward the contempt proceedings against the PTI leaders.
The PTI chairman had submitted his reply to the ECP and admitted the institution’s right to conduct the contempt proceedings, read the petition.
Urging the top court to lift the LHC’s order, the ECP argued that the suspect could not challenge the electoral watchdog’s proceedings after submitting a written reply.
The LHC issued the stay order after the suspects assured the court that they would appear before the ECP, the petition read. Despite assuring the LHC, the suspects were not appearing before the ECP, it added.
Election Act 2017 empowers the ECP to conduct contempt proceedings, the electoral watchdog added.