PTI ordered to submit foreign funding details
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has on Wednesday sought details of party foreign funds from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
A four-member bench, headed by ECP member (Sindh) Abdul Ghaffar Soomro, heard the foreign-funding petition filed by ex-party member Akbar S. Babar.
During the court proceedings today, the petitioner’s counsel presented arguments and said collection of funds by a political party from abroad is sheer breach of law.
He said the bench was also provided with the substantial evidences of garnering funds by the party in America and Denmark.
On the occasion, Finance Secretary PTI Sardar Azhar pleaded with the bench to adjourn the hearing till next week owing to absence and professional engagements of PTI lead counsel Anwar Mansoor.
To which, the bench remarked that the case has been in pending since 2014.
“The Supreme Court’s verdict generally comes within few months in a case, the party funding case at ECP could damage its repute for being in pending for more than three years,” ECP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) member Irshad Qaiser remarked.
The bench then ordered the PTI finance secretary to submit the foreign fund details by next hearing on February 20. The bench then adjourned the hearing till the aforementioned date.
Court rejects PTI plea challenging ECP’s jurisdiction
Earlier on January 29, the PTI leadership had suffered a setback after Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed its plea to bar the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) from probing the source of party foreign funding.
A single bench, comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, announced the reserved verdict on the petition filed by PTI chairman Imran Khan through his counsel.
The PTI chief through his counsel had moved the petition to seek the court’s injunction against the ECP.
The petition stipulated that the top electoral body lacked jurisdiction to hear and give decisions on complaints filed by citizens questioning the source of the party funds.
The verdict on the petition was earlier reserved by a single bench of the IHC, comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, on last Friday.
At the last hearing, PTI counsel Barrister Anwar Mansoor contended before the court that the ECP has been acting beyond its limitations as its lacked the subject-matter jurisdiction over the foreign funding of political parties.
“ECP is neither a court nor a tribunal,” he then asserted.
He argued that the top electoral body couldn’t pass orders of sharing documents about party’s funds with another political party.
Justice Kayani had then reserved a decision on the petition after hearing his arguments.
Earlier, a former party member of PTI had petitioned for a scrutiny in party’s foreign funding in the ECP.