PTI challenges ambit of ECP in defamation case

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  • Babar says Election Commission has no jurisdiction to examine contempt matters

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday challenged the ambit of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in a defamation of court case.

A five-member bench led by Chief Election Commissioner Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza heard the case. PTI lawyer Babar Awan argued that only the Supreme Court and a high court has the power of hearing a defamation case.

Under the act which empowered the Election Commission to hear the case, had been nullified in 2003 during the rule of President Musharraf, he said, adding that the act could not be presented in the parliament. He said that all citizens were equally respectable.

“We want supremacy of law and constitution,” he said. The hearing of the case was deferred till July 19. Later, Babar Awan told media outside the ECP that Imran Khan has not perpetrated contempt of court. Moreover, the Election Commission has no jurisdiction to examine the contempt matters, he claimed.

He further said that no allegation of misuse of powers and corruption have been leveled against Imran, while the matter was brought to notice just because of word ‘bigotry’. “We have also submitted our reply on matter in ECP,” he said and stressed that PTI respect all the courts including the Election Commission.

To a question, the lawyer also claimed that Sharif brothers were using the government machinery and funds in ongoing campaign against Imran Khan. He vowed to give a befitting response to what he claimed propaganda against the PTI chairman.