Wednesday, February 1, 2023

IHC summoned PM Imran Khan to partake in ECP hearings

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has summoned Prime Minister Imran Khan and Asad Umar to appear in court to testify about alleged violations of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) code of conduct.

According to the IHC bench headed by Justice Amir Farooq, the directive came after the prime minister, acting on behalf of his counsel, requested the court’s assistance in suspending an ECP notice issued to him for attending rallies ahead of local body elections in the KP province despite holding public office.

The appeal for suspension of the ECP notice was dismissed by the Islamabad High Court, with Justice Amir Farooq stating that the petitioner did not have a copy of the code of conduct or a date for the next appearance of Imran Khan and Asad Umar before the commission, among other things.

Syed Ali Zafar, the prime minister’s counsel, cited a newly updated ordinance in his presentation of the case, stating that under the new rule, public office holders are permitted to attend rallies ahead of elections.

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In response, the judge stated that the prime minister should have responded to the ECP’s notice. This government has become an ordinance factory, he claims and is circumventing the legislative process. He also believes the prime minister should be more respectful of institutional structures.

While rejecting a petition seeking a stay order against the ECP order, the high court issued notices to the Election Commission of Pakistan, the Cabinet Division, and the Attorney General of Pakistan, with the next hearing scheduled for March 28.

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