ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan has at last issued production orders for the incarcerated PTI Chairman, Imran Khan, regarding the upcoming contempt cases scheduled for a hearing on October 24.
During a previous appearance on October 11 before a four-member ECP bench led by Member Sindh Nisar Ahmad Durrani, Advocate Shoaib Shaheen had emphasized the impracticality of Imran Khan’s attendance at the ECP proceedings due to his incarceration, calling for the issuance of a production order.
A written order made public on Thursday states, “It is a matter of record that the matter has been pending adjudication since August 2022 and must be resolved promptly. Since the respondent is incarcerated, and his personal presence is indispensable to proceed with the case, there is no alternative but to issue a production order for the respondent, namely Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi.”
The production order has been issued under Section 10 of the Elections Act, 2017, in conjunction with rule 4 of Elections Rules, 2017, and relevant provisions of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003. The order specifies that “under this production order, the respondent shall be produced solely before the Election Commission of Pakistan on 24.10.2023 at 10 am, and following the conclusion of the proceedings, the respondent shall be promptly returned to jail.”
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The ECP bench has instructed the office to relay these instructions to the Superintendent of Adyala Jail, Rawalpindi, ensuring all necessary arrangements are in place for the respondent’s appearance before the ECP.
Furthermore, the Inspector General of Police, Islamabad, and the Inspector General of Police, Punjab, have been tasked with ensuring comprehensive security arrangements for Imran Khan’s production when the case proceeds for framing charges against him.
The charges pertain to two separate cases: one for contempt of the Commission and the other for contempt of Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja.
Additionally, the ECP bench has issued bailable warrants for former PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry in relation to the contempt of ECP and CEC cases.
One of the orders reads, “The previous order dated 22.08.2023 required the respondent to comply, but he has not appeared despite the directive for personal presence. Qamar Inayat, Advocate, appeared on behalf of Faisal Fareed Chaudhry, Senior Counsel for the respondent. He cited the respondent’s ill health as the reason for non-appearance and requested an adjournment. However, previous records indicate that the respondent has been seeking adjournments on various pretexts and is unwilling to appear voluntarily.”
“In light of these circumstances, we have no choice but to issue bailable warrants for the respondent. Accordingly, bailable warrants of arrest against the respondent (Fawad) have been issued in the amount of Rs50,000, with two sureties of the same amount each,” the orders state.
The orders specify that the bailable warrants shall be executed through the Inspector General of Police, Islamabad, who must ensure strict compliance with the law. The office is instructed to take the necessary follow-up actions, and the matter is scheduled for a hearing on October 24 at 10 am for the framing of charges against the respondent.