IHC allows ECP to proceed against ImranPakistan
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday allowed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to proceed against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for the alleged violation of a code of conduct.
A bench of the court, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq, withdrew an order issued in May this year restraining the ECP from proceeding against Mr Khan for addressing public gatherings and campaigning in different constituencies even after the announcement of by-elections there.
The court vacated the stay order during the hearing of Mr Khan’s petition filed against the ECP’s notice issued to him for the alleged violation of the code of conduct.
The PTI chief had challenged the notice issued against him by the district election commissioners and the ECP which banned lawmakers and party heads from visiting constituencies for by-election campaigns.
Court vacates stay order against commission’s notice to PTI chief for alleged violation of code of conduct
On April 16, 2015, the ECP had restrained the president, prime minister, chief ministers, state ministers, governors and advisers from visiting or giving any subscriptions or donations in the constituencies. Later, MNAs and MPAs were also included in the list.
During the Monday hearing, Sanaullah Zahid, the counsel for the ECP, adopted before the court that the commission had issued similar notices to a number of politicians for violating the code of conduct.
But except the PTI chief, all the politicians tendered an unconditional apology to the ECP which was accepted by the competent authority, he said.
The counsel said Mr Khan not only violated the code of conduct but was also reluctant to respond to the notice.
When Justice Farooq asked the petitioner’s side to respond, he was informed that Mr Khan’s counsel was absent. Subsequently, the court lifted the restraining order and adjourned further proceedings to the third week of October.
Mr Khan had filed the petition through his counsel Babar Awan which argued that as the PTI chairman the petitioner led different by-elections and other polls-related activities throughout the country which was a right guaranteed by Article 16 of Constitution.
The petition said ECP’s notice issued to Mr Khan was illegal. It said MNAs and MPAs who did not hold any official or government position cannot be treated at a par with those who held certain portfolios. “This makes it obvious that the ECP had issued the notification keeping Imran Khan in mind.”
The petition said preventing the petitioner, who was the head of a party, from campaigning and addressing public meetings in constituencies where by-elections would take place, was a violation of Article 16, 17 and 19 of the Constitution.
Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2017