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The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to continue its contempt proceedings against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and senior party leaders Fawad Chaudhary and Asad Umar.

Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, a three-member bench heard the case wherein the ECP sought consolidation and transfer of all six challenges to its contempt notice against the three PTI leaders pending before different high courts.

It is pertinent to note that the ECP had issued contempt notices against the PTI leaders and asked them to appear in person or through their counsel before the commission to explain their positions.

However, the party leaders had challenged the notices before different high courts, invoking the jurisdiction of different high courts including the Lahore High Court (LHC), Sindh High Court, Islamabad High Court and LHC-Rawalpindi Bench, on the grounds that Section 10 of the Elections Act, 2017 was against the constitution.

Read ECP can’t initiate contempt proceedings: Umar

During the hearing today, the SC said that the high courts have not restrained the ECP from taking action against the three PTI leaders but from taking a decision.

It added that the electoral watchdog should also examine the objections to the show-cause notices issued to the PTI leaders.

The election commission had said that it issued show-cause notices to Imran, Asad and Fawad, but they did not appear.

However, PTI’s counsel told the court that the ECP’s show-cause notice had not been issued by the chief election commissioner but by some other officer.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the court disposed of the case and instructed the ECP to continue with its proceedings as per the law.

The SC maintained that the Lahore and Sindh high courts did not stop the ECP from holding a hearing. However, it said the commission should not take any decision in the case until the verdict of the Lahore and Sindh high courts are announced.

It furthered that the hearing on these applications pending in the high courts should be completed soon.

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