RAWALPINDI: On Monday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi Bench suspended the bailable arrest warrants issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan against Imran Khan, senior vice president Fawad Chaudhry, and party secretary general Asad Umar.
Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan delayed the warrants after hearing the PTI leaders’ appeal against the arrest warrants. The ECP’s four-member panel issued the warrants last week, and today the PTI leaders contested them.
The court ordered the ECP to continue its contempt proceedings against the PTI leaders even if it postponed the warrants.
The judge made a comment during the hearing that PTI asks the judiciary for assistance yet targets them in the media.
“Media criticism of the judiciary constitutes contempt of court. Contempt of court proceedings would be initiated if Fawad Chaudhry criticises the courts in the media “the court was warned.
Justice Khan mentioned that Fawad blamed the media for corruption in an interview with a global station. Additionally, he advised the PTI leader’s attorney that although the court was currently providing him with relief, his client shouldn’t place all the burden on the courts.
Justice Khan said, “Enough is enough, the court will no longer exercise restraint.”
Fawad to challenge warrants
Last week, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry, immediately after the ECP’s decision, had announced that he would challenge the warrants in the high court and file a contempt plea against ECP.
“ECP’s decision to issue arrest warrants in contempt of the high court’s decision,” said Fawad. He said that the case was scheduled for January 17 and the verdict was announced today in violation of the rules.
The PTI leader alleged that it was a “biased” decision of the ECP.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had also allowed the electoral body to go ahead with contempt proceedings against Khan, Umar and Fawad.
All three PTI leaders did not appear in the last hearing of the case citing different issues.
Lawyer Ali Bukhari appeared on behalf of PTI leaders and said that Fawad’s mother was seriously ill and he was with her in a hospital in Lahore, while Imran Khan’s doctors had advised him against travelling.
Asad Umar’s lawyer Anwar Mansoor said that the PTI secretary general was to attend the hearing but he could not make it to the federal capital.
Imran, Fawad and Umar were issued contempt notices by the ECP, in August last year, for insulting the commission and its chief, Sikander Sultan Raja, in various public meetings, press conferences and interviews.