SC serves notices on Imran, others in ECP contempt case.

ISLAMABAD -- The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notices to PTI chief Imran Khan and other party leaders, including Asad Umar and Fawad Chaudhry, in cases related to the contempt of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The matter related to the ECP serving contempt notices on the former prime minister and other PTI leaders for using 'intemperate language' against the commission and the chief election commissioner.

However, when these recipients then challenged these notices in different high courts, the ECP petitioned the Supreme Court to have these cases consolidated and transferred to one high court to defend its stance better.

A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ayesha Malik and newly elevated Justice Athar Minallah heard the case at the apex court in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Asad Umar, Fawad Chaudhry also among recipients

Justice Bandial observed that the ECP had taken up the plea that either it should prepare for the general and the local bodies' election or pursue cases in different high courts. He also inquired about any precedence in which the apex court had consolidated cases pending in different high courts, adding that the ECP was relying its case on Article 186A of the Constitution, which empowers the Supreme Court to transfer cases.

ECP's counsel, Barrister Sajeel Sheryar Swati, recalled that the apex court had earlier ordered the consolidation of all income tax cases to one high court in 1999. However, the chief justice observed that a valid point needed to be presented to have the cases consolidated.

Justice Ayesha Malik observed that in the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority's cases, the top court had declared that high court cases would continue and would not be merged.


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