Lahore High Court restrains ECP in Imran Khan Contempt Case

Lahore High Court restrains ECP in Imran Khan Contempt Case & Islamabad High Court adjourns Early Release Hearing

Following the arrest of Imran Khan in a Toshakhana case and subsequent banning by the Election Commission of Pakistan for the period of 5 years, legal developments all over the courts in Pakistan are taking place.

One such development took place in Lahore High Court, whereby it has given interim relief to the petitioner against ECP, pertaining to the contempt proceedings against the ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Concurrently, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has adjourned Mr. Khan’s criminal appeal for early release in the Toshakhana case.
Here we delve into the details of both court cases.


LHC’s Injunction and Referral to a Larger Bench

In a petition filed by Mr. Imran Khan, Ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan, Hon’ble Justice Mr. Waheed Khan has issued injunctive order against the Election Commission of Pakistan. The order restrains the ECP from rendering any decision in the contempt petition till the finalization of the petition before the LHC.

Moreover, the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Waheed Khan has also been pleased to refer the matter before the Lahore High Cout Chief Justice for the formation of a Larger Bench for further deliberations over the matter.

Challenging ECP’s June 20 Order

The petition filed before the LHC challenges the ECP’s order issued on June 20, 2023, wherein the indictment of Imran Khan in contempt proceedings initiated under Section 10 of the Elections Act 2017 took place.

Furthermore, the constitutional validity of Section 10 of the Election Act 2017, which grants authority to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) to punish individuals for contempt of the ECP, is being challenged.

Advocate Sameer Khosa, representing Mr. Khan, argues that the ECP’s order incorrectly asserts that the CEC possesses the jurisdiction to issue a show-cause notice and proceed with the matter. Khosa contends that the CEC has overstepped its authority in this regard.

Request to Strike Down Sections

Advocate Khosa has pleaded before the Hon’ble Court to declare Sections 10 and 4(2) of the Elections Act 2017 and Rule 4 of the Election Rules 2017 as inconsistent, self-contradictory, and opposing to the Constitution of Pakistan 1973 and, thus, likely to be struck down.


ECP Seeks Time for Review

In a separate legal proceeding of Imran Khan’s early release from Jail, the Election Commission of Pakistan has requested the Hon’ble Court for additional time in order to review the record of former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case.

IHC Division Bench Hearing

The IHC Division Bench, comprising of Hon’ble Chief Justice Mr. Aamer Farooq and Hon’ble Justice Mr. Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, continued hearing Imran Khan’s appeal against his conviction and suspension of sentence in Criminal Appeal against conviction as well as an application U/s 426 Cr.P.C.
Sardar Latif Khosa, representing Mr. Khan, pleaded before that the Trial Court’s handling of the case on a day-to-day basis impeded the right of defense of his client.

Adjournment Controversy

As the ECP asked for additional time, Sardar Latif Khan Khosa resisted the two-week adjournment and urged the Hon’ble Court for hearing the matter on the same day, but ECP’s counsel, Mr. Amjad Pervaiz stated that ECP has to look at the certified copies of the record pertaining to Trial Court record, which was taken into account by the Hon’ble Division Bench.

Sardar Latif Khan Khosa’s appeal for same day hearing was turned down, keeping in view the arguments of ECP’s counsel but the case was adjourned till Thursday, August 24, 2023.

Bushra Bibi’s Meeting with Mr. Khan and Denial of Access

Bushra Bibi had her 3rd meeting with Imran Khan at Attock jail. However, the legal team of Mr. Imran Khan was once again denied access to their client. Both parties were initially halted by police from meeting Imran Khan but later on, police allowed Bushra Bibi to meet Khan in Jail. The meeting between Khan and his wife reportedly lasted for an hour approximately.

Keeping in view the legal proceedings going on in ECP, LHC, and IHC, it seems that Khan’s problems are only going to get worse day by day.

Read More: Amendments To Pakistan’s Army Act and Official Secrets Act Unveiled

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