ECP asks Imran to submit reply in removal from PTI leadership case

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday directed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan to submit a reply in the case regarding his removal from the party leadership, During the hearing of the case in the ECP, former prime minister’s lawyer Barrister Gohar said that the petitioner Advocate Muhammad Afaq Ahmed is not appearing before the commission, therefore, the case should be dismissed for non-compliance

Following this, the ECP Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) member Justice (retired) Ikramullah Khan directed the lawyer to give arguments for the case and stated that the electoral watchdog will look into that matter

Read Imran disqualified Advocate Gohar maintained that the Lahore High Court (LHC) has stopped the ECP from proceeding against the PTI chief, adding that the court referred the matter to the full bench

On this, the ECP member asked to provide a copy of the petition filed in the LHC and added that the ruling seems to be to the extent of giving a declaration of disqualification

The electoral watchdog member further told the PTI lawyer that “you all reach high courts as soon as an application is admitted”, adding that "after a stay order, all we have to do is come, sit and then leave"

During the hearing, the ECP Balochistan member also said that the LHC did not stop the case from proceeding

The ousted premier’s lawyer added that in the present case, the electoral watchdog has taken a suo motu, to which Justice (retd) Ikramullah replied that the ECP has no such authority

The commission then stated that the electoral watchdog is also notifying the petitioner as to inform whether he is interested in pursuing the case or not

Also Read PTI resignations: 'Imran Khan left out of caretaker setup process' Subsequently, the ECP adjourned the hearing till March 7, directing Imran to submit his reply in the case

In November 2022, the LHC accepted a petition for hearing, seeking the removal of Imran Khan as party chief after his disqualification in the Toshakhana (gift depository) reference

The petition stated that it was a legal and constitutional requirement for party officeholders to be qualified in accordance with Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution

It said that after Imran’s disqualification from the NA-95 constituency following the Toshakhana reference, was “just” for him to be de-notified as the PTI chairman and that an order should be issued in this regard

Date:16-Feb-2023 Reference:View Original Link