ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday issued bailable arrest warrants against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan for not showing up before the commission in contempt of court case against him.
Issuing directives for submission of Rs100,000 surety bond to PTI chief until September 25, the ECP has also ordered him to turn up before it in person by the same date.
These orders were passed after Khan failed to appear before the commission today as he was summoned.
During the hearing of contempt proceedings, PTI chief’s counsel Babar Awan contended that the ECP should halt its proceedings in the case since the party had challenged subject-matter jurisdiction in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), adding that his client reached Pakistan this morning after a brief stay in London and Khan is willing to turn up before the commission.
The five-member ECP bench, headed by chief election commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Raza Khan, was hearing a petition, filed by a former PTI leader Akbar Babar earlier this year alleging that PTI chief Imran Khan has committed contempt of court in his comments on the party funds, claiming that he had not apologized to the ECP over his comments instead his counsel did so in his personal capacity.
Issuing bailable arrest warrants, the ECP then reserved its judgment in the case while directing Imran to appear before it by September 25.
The ECP had issued the contempt notice to Khan on January 24 over his “scandalous remarks” about the commission.
Last month, ECP had issued a show-cause notice to Imran Khan after he failed to file a reply to its notice in connection with contempt proceedings against him.
Initially, Khan had challenged the maintainability of the contempt petition and raised objection over the ECP’s subject-matter jurisdiction to initiate contempt proceedings against him.
Imran Khan’s counsel Babar Awan sought time for submission of reply in the case. The election commission had ruled then to announce a decision if reply did not filed by August 23.