Imran Khan could contest elections again: IHC chief justice

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday dismissed a petition seeking suspension of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s disqualification, saying that Imran Khan could contest elections again if he wanted to as there was no restriction on Imran Khan to contesting elections.

Chief Justice IHC Athar Minallah heard the petition against Imran Khan’s disqualification by the Election Commission of Pakistan in the Toshakhana reference.

At the onset of the hearing, IHC CJ Minallah asked about the objections. Barrister Ali Zafar, representing Imran Khan, said that one objection was to the biometric verification while the other objection was that the certified copy of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision was not attached to the plea. He also said that ECP did not issue a detailed decision and only two pages have been made available.

“What is the hurry in this case?” the court asked. Imran’s lawyer said that his client had been disqualified and he had to contest the next election, while the ECP has asked for prosecution of Imran Khan under corrupt practices.

Barrister Zafar said that the electoral body had only directed that the complaint be sent to trial.

Justice Athar Minallah said that the commission had only asked for the complaint to be sent to trial, and when there is no judgment, which order should the court suspend? He directed the counsel to address the Registrar’s Office objections.

In response to a question about whether the counsel had copy of the short order, Barrister Zafar replied that they had applied for a certified copy.

He further said that the ECP had issued a decision on the website but did not give a certified copy to them.

IHC CJ Athar Minallah said that if the copy wouldn’t be given in three days, the court will hear the matter again. He said that sometimes a decision was announced with a short order and the detailed decision came later.

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