Former Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses a rally in this undated photo. Reuters/ File
IHC says ECP will have to withdraw the order if IK proves sources.
ECP can only seize funds, says IHC.
The IHC criticized the ECP for handing over the matter to the government.
The verdict of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) petition against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision on the banned funding case will be Announce tomorrow (Thursday).
In August 2022, the poll organizer’s body issued a notice to” PTI about the prohibited funding case. The former ruling party challenged the announcement at the IHC.
Earlier this month, a larger bench of the IHC — comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Miangul Hassan, and Justice Babar Sattar — reserved its verdict on a petition challenging the January 11 decision of the election body.
During the hearing, the court observe that the ECP’s responsibility was only to do what the constitution allow – which was limit to the Confiscation of funds.
While the ECP argued during the hearing that it did not have the power to change its decision, the court noted that if PTI presented satisfactory evidence to the court – proving the legitimacy of the funds – the amount would not be seized.
The PTI’s counsel during this hearing claimed that the ECP had declared the PTI a “foreign aid” party and rejected PTI chief Imran Khan’s statement as false.
However, the ECP counsel insisted that it was not just a report but a decision.
The ECP could not issue a show cause notice without issuing a decision. ”he said. The ECP will not make any declaration in this show cause notice, nor will it take any criminal action against Khan. Its powers only extend to the Confiscation; of funds,
Besides, the court at the previous hearing also criticized the ECP for taking the matter to the federal government as it led to several cases, Being register by the FIA against the PTI.
Now, if the court rules in favour of PTI, the notice will be return, and the cases against; The party will be withdrawn; it is also likely that the court will recommend that the electoral body reconsider the matter.
PTI challenges the ECPs, decision
At PTI on August 10 last year, she challenged the ECPs, the decision in the IHC, and sought quashing of the order in the case of prohibited funding.
In his petition filed with the IHC, PTI Additional Secretary General Omar Ayub asked the court to not only set aside the August 2 order but also recall the ECPs, notice sent to PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
The petitioner said he was grossly aggrieved; by the inquiry report – which revealed that PTI received funds from foreign sources – and demanded that it be declare perverted, wrong, and over authority and jurisdiction;
In his petition, Ayub also asked the court to declare that any action propose by the ECP is beyond his jurisdiction and no action; can be taken. Used on the fact-finding report;
ECP verdict in case of prohibited financing
In 2022, the ECP announced in a unanimous verdict that PTI had received prohibited funding. The case, To As a foreign funding case, But later the Election Commission accepted PTIs, requesting to refer to it as a prohibited funding case.
The commission found that donations were receive from America, Australia, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates.
PTI received funds from 34 individuals and 351 businesses, including companies, the ECPs verdict said.
Thirteen unknown accounts also came to light; the commission said in the judgment stating that hiding the accounts is a”violation” of Article 17 of the Constitution.
The funds also violated Article 6 of the Act on Political Parties.
Besides, the ECP found that Khan had submitted a fake nomination form I and that the affidavit provided regarding the party accounts was also not genuine.