Pakistan

Election commission barred from action against Imran

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday barred the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce a final verdict in the code of conduct violation case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, which was due on May 8, ARY News reported.

The court also summoned a reply from ECP over the matter. Justice Aamir Farooq of IHC heard the plea filed by PTI chairman’s lawyer Babar Awan.

During the court proceeding, PTI lawyer told the court that the opposition political parties were being barred to hold rallies and public gathering by design while pleading the bench to nullify the notifications issued by the ECP calling them illegal and with malicious intent.

The court heard the arguments and issued stay order in the case and suspended three notifications of the ECP and adjourned the hearing till May 15.

Talking to media outside the court, Babar Awan said that the court has also summoned Attorney General of Pakistan. He claimed that the election commission’s order has targeted the opposition.

It is worth mentioning here that  the ECP on April 24 in a hearing, reserved a judgment of a notice against PTI Chief Imran Khan and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmaker Hamza Shehbaz Sharif over violation of its’s code of conduct during the by-election to National Assembly seat NA-63 Jhelum last year.

The judgment was due to be announced on May 8 while granting time to PTI for submission of its response till the announcement day after the party spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry had sought time for submitting a reply.

Meanwhile, Hamza Shehbaz Sharif through his counsel had submitted an unconditional apology to the commission over breach of the code of conduct.

It is pertinent to mention here that according to the ECP’s code of conduct, the prime minister, cabinet members, senators as well as members of national and provincial assemblies are barred from participating in election campaigns of their party candidates.

The notices were issued to Imran and Hamza for running election campaigns of their party candidates in by-election of NA-63 Jhelum on August 31 2016.

Despite being members of National Assembly, Imran Khan and Shahbaz Sharif both violated the code by visiting the constituency for their party candidates.

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