Contempt case: ECP issues non-bailable arrest warrants for Imran

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The election commission on Thursday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for opposition party leader and former cricket star Imran Khan in a contempt of court case - a move that was swiftly rejected by his party.

Earlier on September 14, the bench had issued bailable arrest warrants for Khan after his repeated failure to appear in contempt of court proceedings at the commission but the Islamabad High Court later suspended the warrants after PTI's petition.

Awan had then appeared before the five-member ECP bench and pleaded that they wanted to challenge the ECP's judgement regarding the maintainability of the contempt petition and should be granted some time.

Following this, the Bench has ordered authorities to arrest Imran Khan and present him before the commission on Oct 26.

The CEC had observed that it will issue its order in the contempt case if the IHC does not decide the case on October 11.

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In the previous hearing, Khan, in his reply submitted through his lawyer Babar Awan, had stated that he confirmed the apology tendered by his previous counsel regarding the "contemptuous" remarks, adding that the contempt of court matter is a "closed transaction belonging to the past".

"A new warrant is issued in the same case where a (bailable) warrant was already suspended".

Babar is also one of the founding members of the PTI.

"Therefore the Election Commission of Pakistan has no power to proceed for contempt", he argued, until the provision is amended by an act of parliament. Later, when the PTI chief did not submit any response, the ECP issued a second show-cause notice to him on August 24.

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