The arrest warrants issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, Secretary General Asad Umar, and Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry were cancelled by the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday.
Earlier in the day, the ECP issued warrants against the trio in a violation case, and the former prime minister and federal ministers had appealed to the LHC Rawalpindi Bench against those orders.
The ECP’s warrants were challenged by the PTI triad on Saturday, branding them “illegal, unlawful, and lacking in compelling and convincing logic.”
Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan presided over today’s session, and Imran and Fawad’s attorneys, Advocate Faisal Chaudhry, were present.
The panel today ordered the PTI leaders to appear before it at the upcoming hearing scheduled for January 17 despite rejecting their requests for relief.
On January 3, the commission deferred its decision about their pleas after getting permission from the Supreme Court to go on its contempt case against the former premier and his associates.
As for the election commission, Advocate Faisal said, “We have participated in its procedures and will continue to do so [but] the electoral commission is not a constitutional court and does not have the power to issue arrest warrants.”
The court, in response, “takes judgments by the law and justice,” the judge said. You are in contempt of court if you seek redress from the judiciary and then criticise it in front of the media.
“The court will begin contempt of court proceedings [against Fawad Chaudhry] if he criticises the judiciary in front of the media once more.”
In a recent interview with a global media source, the LHC judge also mentioned that Fawad had blamed the judiciary only for corruption.