The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday indicted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan and former information minister Fawad Chaudhry in a case of contempt against the electoral body and the chief election commissioner.
A four-member bench of the electoral body, headed by Sindh Member Nisar Ahmad Durrani, conducted the hearing of the case in Adiala jail, where both the leaders are incarcerated.
The former prime minister and ex-minister were present in the courtroom during the hearing and denied the allegations mentioned in the charge sheet.
The ECP then adjourned the hearing on the contempt case till January 16.
The electoral body had initiated contempt proceedings against the former PTI chairman, former party leader Asad Umar and Fawad for insulting the commission and its chief during various public meetings, press conferences and several interviews.
According to the notice, politicos face the charges of passing unparliamentary, intemperate, and contemptuous remarks against the ECP on various occasions.
The political leaders were asked to either personally appear before the commission bench to clear their position or through their counsel.
Instead of appearing before the bench, they challenged the commission’s jurisdiction in several high courts. However, the Supreme Court in January 2023 allowed the commission to initiate proceedings against them and on June 21, the ECP decided to frame charges against them which was yet to be done.
As per a copy of the charge sheet available with Geo News, the PTI founder and former minister launched a contemptuous campaign against the ECP under a plan in 2022.
“The accused used non-parliamentary language against the ECP in a public gathering in Bhakkar on July 12, 2022,” it stated while mentioning a few other similar instances.
The charge sheet further stated that the accused committed contempt against ECP under the Election Act 2017 and the electoral body has the jurisdiction to take action against the accused as per Supreme Court’s observation.
The prosecution, in the sheet, called for initiation of a trial against the accused in the light of evidences, videos and documents.
During the previous hearing on December 27, the electoral watchdog could not charge the PTI founder and ex-information minister.
The hearing and the charge sheeting of the two were adjourned until January 3 (today).
PTI leader Asghar Chaudhry, while speaking to media persons outside Adiala jail, said such an Election Commission was never seen even during the martial law era.
“You rejected the nomination papers of the candidates and took away the papers from them. Even cruelty has an end,” he lamented.