ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday challenged his non-bailable arrest warrants issued by Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in Islamabad High Court (IHC), ARY News reported.
A petition in the IHC has been filed through Khan’s counsel Babar Awan, stipulating that the ECP had exceeded its authority after issuing the arrest warrants against Khan in a case which the electoral body lacks a subject matter jurisdiction.
Awan has been claiming that the regulatory body lacked subject matter jurisdiction to conduct contempt proceedings.
The plea asserts that the ECP is retaliating against Khan on political basis while calling the warrants as sheer violation of basic human rights, granted by the constitution.
Khan is being victimized politically for his stance against corruption, it added.
On Oct 12, the country’s top electoral regulatory body issued non-bailable arrest warrants for PTI chief Imran Khan over his ‘perpetual absence’ in the contempt proceedings against him.
The five-member ECP, bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Sardar Raza Khan, was hearing a petition filed by the PTI dissident – Akbar S. Babar – when it issued non-bailable warrants for Khan.
The commission ordered the police to arrest Khan and present him before the commission on October 26.
In a hearing on Sept 25, Imran Khan through his counsel Babar Awan had submitted the reply before the five-member bench of the election commission.
During the proceeding, Awan then said that his client had taken back the scandalous remarks against the commission, hence the issue was resolved, adding that Khan had made an unconditional apology on the matter.
Hearing his arguments, the bench had reserved its verdict in the case.
“We were demanding the reply which you [Babar Awan] have submitted today,” the bench remarked.
Suspension of Khan’s bailable arrest warrants
It is apropos to highlight here that the IHC had suspended the bailable arrest warrants for Khan issued by the ECP in the case on Sept 20.
IHC’s larger bench, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, suspended the top electoral body’s order while directing counsel for the PTI Babar Awan to submit a reply to the show-cause notice duly signed by Khan before the ECP by September 25.
The ECP had issued the contempt notice to Khan on January 24 over his “scandalous remarks” about the commission.