ISLAMABAD -  The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday reserved its judgement in contempt case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan. 

The five-member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan after hearing of the case reserved its judgement and will announce the verdict on August 10th. The ECP reserved its judgement in reference to the reply filed by Imran Khan challenging the commission’s power to initiate contempt of court proceedings against him.

During Tuesday’s proceedings, Imran Khan’s counsel Babar Awan argued before the tribunal that contempt of court proceedings could not be initiated against his client as the jurisdiction to do so did not lie with the ECP.

“If the ECP is equal to a high court, will a full-bench conduct proceedings every day?” Babar Awan asked arguing that the constitution gives the ECP a different status from that enjoyed by the high courts.

“If a full bench of the ECP gives a verdict, where will I file my appeal?” Awan asked.

He, while arguing the case maintained that the 1976 law about contempt of court had phased out therefore; in his opinion the ECP was not empowered any more to take up contempt of court cases. “The ECP is empowered only to conduct elections,” Awan added.

During the hearing, the legal counsel of petitioner Akbar SW Babar who is one of the founding members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, while pleading his case requested the ECP to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Khan by issuing a show-cause notice to him.

However, the commission reserved its verdict which would be announced on August 10th.

According to legal experts, if the commission overrules Imran Khan’s objections, the tribunal will continue to hear the petition filed by his counsel Babar Awan, and if the objections are accepted the ECP would dismiss the case.

Later, speaking to media Babar Awan said that contempt of case against his client could not be decided by the ECP.

He was confident that the ECP would dismiss the case for good. 

On the other hand, petitioner Akbar S Babar expressed his confidence that the ECP would give its verdict against Imran Khan who he alleged was least interested in abiding by the law.

Talking to the media outside the election commission, PTI founding member also stated that Imran Khan had no respect for the institutions. Imran Khan is also facing another case in the ECP relating to misappropriation of funds his party had received illegally from overseas.