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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is likely to announce today its decision in the contempt of court case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.

A four-member ECP bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Raza Khan, will resume hearing the case against the PTI chief.

At the last hearing on Monday, the PTI chief, in his reply submitted through his lawyer Babar Awan, stated that "I respect the ECP and believe in the supremacy of institutions."

Khan stated that he confirms the apology tendered by his previous counsel, Saqlain Haider, regarding the "contemptuous" remarks, adding that the contempt of court matter is a "closed transaction belonging to the past."

The PTI chief's counsel requested the ECP to withdraw the show-cause notice issued on September 24.

However, petitioner Akbar Babar's counsel objected saying Imran did not apologise to the court despite 13 chances given to him.

Babar's counsel then submitted a fresh contempt petition in the ECP, stating that the PTI chief, in a press talk in Karachi on September 20, cast aspersions against the ECP's impartiality.

The ECP directed the PTI chief to submit his response with regards to the fresh petition by Babar. It also observed that it would deliver its order at the next hearing (today) with regards to the old and new contempt petition after perusing the PTI chairman's replies. 

At the last hearing on September 14, the ECP had issued bailable warrants against Imran to ensure his presence in the case.

However, the PTI approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the issuance of warrants. The IHC, on September 20, suspended the bailable arrest warrants. Hearing the case, Justice Aamer Farooq, who headed a three-member larger bench, directed the PTI chief to reply to the ECP's show-cause notice.

Awan assured the court that the PTI chairman would reply to the ECP's show-cause notice with regards to contempt proceedings against him.

The ECP had ordered Imran to submit a surety bond of Rs100,000 until September 25 and nominate two persons who would ensure payment of the amount and be held responsible otherwise.

Imran was also ordered to appear on that day in the commission in person.

Earlier, on September 14, during the hearing of contempt proceedings, Awan had argued before the ECP that proceedings against his client should be postponed until the matter is decided by the high court.

The ECP had summoned Imran in person on that as well but he failed to do so.

The ECP had issued the contempt notice to Khan on January 24 over his ?scandalous remarks? about the commission.

Babar, the petitioner who had filed the foreign funding case against the PTI leadership, had informed the ECP that the PTI chief had accused it of being biased in the foreign funding case following which his counsel tendered an apology with the commission.


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