ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed an application filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) requesting the court to stay proceedings of the foreign funding case being heard by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
In a brief verbal decision read out by Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani on Monday, the IHC dismissed PTI’s plea on the basis that it was infructuous.
The court had reserved the verdict on Friday, January 26. The full judgment will be released on Wednesday.
The party’s counsel, Advocate Faisal Chaudhry and Barrister Anwar Mansoor argued that a political party cannot disclose details of its bank account to ECP, alleging that the institute had become party to the case against PTI.
Previously it had argued that the ECP could not simultaneously act as a court and a party under the law in the matter pertaining to foreign funding to PTI.
Meanwhile, Akbar S Babar’s lawyer argued that the Supreme Court (SC) had accepted ECP authority over the case.
Challenging the ECP’s May 8 decision, PTI chief Imran Khan has taken the position that the electoral body does not have jurisdiction under the Political Parties Order (PPO) 2002 to adjudicate on the complaints filed by citizens.
“The PPO does not provide a framework of a tribunal for adjudication of complaints and scrutiny of accounts,” said the PTI chairman, adding that the accounts submitted by the petitioner are past and closed transactions.
He has nominated the ECP and Akbar Sher Babar, a founding member of the PTI, as respondents. Babar, in his application before the ECP, had questioned sources of foreign funds to PTI.
In the order passed on May 8, the ECP dismissed objection qua its jurisdiction and held that the ECP had all and plenary jurisdiction to go into and scrutinise accounts of a political party at any time.
The ECP order reads that the PTI counsel could not produce any direct authority to the effect that the record of the election commission could not be gone into or scrutinised by the ECP itself.
The petition against foreign funding was first filed in November 2014 by a disgruntled PTI leader Babar after developing differences with the party chairman Imran Khan on alleged internal party corruption and financial wrongdoings in managing the PTI funds.
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