Court directs PTI to provide copy of ECP’s decision regarding jurisdiction over party’s foreign funds

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Zubair Qureshi

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has once again directed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to submit a copy of the decision Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) decision within one week while hearing a petition by the PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who has challenged ECP jurisdiction to hear and decide pleas raising questions on sources of party funds.
On the last hearing dated June 1, 2017 the IHC bench had directed PTI to submit copy of the ECP’s May 8 decision after the IHC Registrar Office had raised objections to the petition. On Thursday however IHC Justice Aamir Farooq while sustaining office objections allowed PTI’s application seeking time to submit missing documents with the application. On May 8, 2017 the ECP had decided the matter with respect to jurisdiction. It had also disposed of the matter relating to foreign funds received by PTI and closed transactions and also decided ‘locus standi’ of the complainant Akbar S Babar.
Since the only document was missing from the petition was the ECP’s decision, IHC Justice Aamir Farooq directed the petitioner to submit the same. A detailed ECP judgment was issued on May 31 in which ECP said that it had jurisdiction to question sources of party funds and Akbar S Babar had locus standi as he was still a party member. In his petition, PTI Chairman has once again raised a matter before the court pertaining to the application of Akbar Sher Babar. Babar in his application before the ECP has been questioning sources of foreign funds to PTI. PTI on the other hand has been contesting that ECP had no jurisdictions to question the party about sources of their party funds and Babar as a private person cannot file an application before the ECP.
PTI earlier this year had filed a petition in the IHC with same contentions while saying that they raised the question of maintainability before the ECP but the commission did not decide the maintainability and jurisdiction questions in clear terms. An IHC bench then on February 15, 2017 directed ECP to decide the matter of jurisdiction and maintainability. In this recent petition, petitioner PTI has prayed to the court to suspend ECP’s May 8 order and declare it illegal and void. Petitioner further seeks from the court to declare that the accounts submitted by the petitioner are past and closed transactions and to declare that Babar has no ‘locus stand i’.

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