ISLAMABAD -  Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has formally sought withdrawal of his petition he had filed in the Islamabad High Court challenging contempt proceedings against him by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

When IHC three-member bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb took up the PTI chief’s petition , a junior advocate in place of Babar Awan appeared before the court, requesting to withdraw the petition against the ECP .  The court, however, directed the counsel to submit a written application and adjourned the hearing.

Earlier, the PTI chief’s counsel, Babar Awan, had contended that the ECP did not have the jurisdiction to hear the contempt of court cases. He had asked the bench to suspend ECP’s proceedings and the arrest warrants for his client.

The court had suspended Khan’s arrest warrants, however, it had rejected Awan’s request to halt the ECP’s contempt proceedings against his client.

The PTI chief had cited the ECP chairman and Akbar S Babar, a founding member of the PTI and the main petitioner in the ECP against Khan, as respondents.

The PTI had stated in the petition that the ECP has no powers or the authority to issue non-bailable arrest warrants regarding which an injunctive order was passed by this court.

The PTI chief’s counsel had stated that admittedly for all practical purposes and intents, that was a case of civil contempt wherein repeated harsh and uncalled-for orders were passed by the ECP chairman.

He had maintained that it was a case of a split order which called for the interference of the court because the petitioner was being victimized at the instance of his political opponents. Babar had contended that the arrest warrants issued by the ECP was against the law and the facts of the case. “The ECP has no powers to initiate proceedings in view of the express provision of Article 204 of the Constitution,” the counsel had said.

He had argued that Khan never obstructed the administration of justice. Therefore, the proceedings initiated by the ECP were liable to be dropped in the interest of justice.