Accepts disqualification reference against PTI chief for hearing
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday issued a notice to PTI chairman Imran Khan and summoned him on August 23 in the prohibited funding case, in which it had ruled that the party had received foreign funds.
According to the ECP, the case titled “Notice to Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in terms of Rule 6 of Political Parties Rule 2006, in compliance of judgment by the commission dated August 2 in case title Akbar Sher Babar” has been fixed for hearing on August 23, at 10am.
Earlier this week, the electoral body, in a unanimous verdict, ruled that the PTI did indeed receive prohibited funding and issued a notice to the party asking why the funds should not be confiscated.
A three-member ECP bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar (CEC) Sultan Raja had passed
the judgment in a case filed by PTI founding member Akbar S. Babar pending since November 14, 2014.
In the written verdict, the commission noted that the party “knowingly and willfully” received funding from Wootton Cricket Limited, operated by business tycoon Arif Naqvi. The party was a “willing recipient” of prohibited money of $2,121,500, it said.
Separately, the ECP has also accepted for hearing a reference seeking the disqualification of Imran from public office filed by a group of MNAs associated with the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).
It has been fixed for hearing on August 18, according to the commission’s website.
The reference was filed yesterday by MNA Barrister Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha to Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja, carrying signatures of lawmakers Agha Hassan Baloch, Salahudeen Ayubi, Ali Gohar Khan, Syed Rafiullah Agha and Saad Waseem Sheikh.
It demanded the ECP to disqualify Imran under Sections 2 and 3 of Article 63 of the Constitution, read with Article 62(1)(f). It also carried documentary evidence to corroborate their claims against the ex-PM.
Article 62(1)(f) says: “A person shall not be qualified to be elected or chosen as a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) unless […] he is sagacious, righteous and non-profligate, honest and ameen, there being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law.”
Article 63(2) says: “If any question arises whether a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) has become disqualified from being a member, the Speaker or, as the case may be, the Chairman shall, unless he decides that no such question has arisen, refer the question to the Election Commission within thirty days and should he fail to do so within the aforesaid period it shall be deemed to have been referred to the Election Commission.”
While, Article 63(3) reads: “The Election Commission shall decide the question within ninety days from its receipt or deemed to have been received and if it is of the opinion that the member has become disqualified, he shall cease to be a member and his seat shall become vacant.”