ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan on Thursday rejected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s plea that the poll body did not have the authority to hear a case regarding the party’s financial matters and scan its documents in this regard.
A five-member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Muhammad Raza rejected PTI’s plea that questioned the constitutional jurisdiction of the ECP to hear the case filed in November 2014 by PTI founding member and the party’s former central information secretary Akbar S Babar. Babar had accused PTI of financial corruption and violation of laws in collecting donations and managing party funds.
The poll supervisory body passed an order on April 1 this year, stating that declarations made by PTI in their audit report do not disclose the source and details of foreign funds. Instead of complying with the order, PTI appointed a new lawyer, Anwar Mansoor Khan, who once against contested the jurisdiction of the ECP to hear the case instead of sharing foreign funding details.
The case has generated great public interest after evidence surfaced of PTI receiving funds from foreign nationals and companies, including Jewish-American Barry C Schneps and US-born Indian Indur Dosanjh.
The petitioner alleges that on the basis of evidence provided, PTI and its leadership has acted in utter violation of Articles 3, 5, 6, and 13 of the Political Parties Order, 2002 read with Rules 4, 5, 6 of the Political Parties Rules, 2002.
Addressing the media after the hearing, Babar said he was seriously considering former Punjab governor’s public challenge to him during a TV talk show to file a complaint in the US. Babar along with other founding members stated that a national conference was being planned in Islamabad to unite all PTI ideological workers from Pakistan and abroad. He said Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed would also be invited to the national conference to chalk a future strategy of saving the PTI from traditional politics and politicians and cleanse the party of corrupt elements.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2015.