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PTI’s petition against ECP notice in prohibited funding case rejected

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The Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) on Thursday dismissed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) petition against the ruling of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) regarding the prohibited funding case.

In August 2022, the election commission issued a show-cause notice to the PTI after it concluded that the party received funding from prohibited sources. The notice was later challenged in the IHC.

A larger bench of the IHC — comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Miangul Hassan and Justice Babar Sattar — had reserved its verdict on January 11 after arguments were completed.

The verdict was announced verbally. 

During the hearing, the court had observed that the ECP’s responsibility was merely to do what the Constitution permitted — which was limited to the confiscation of funds.

While the ECP during the hearing claimed that it had no power to change its decision, the court had observed that should the PTI present in the court satisfactory evidence — proving the legitimacy of the funds — the amount would not be confiscated.

The PTI counsel had argued during that hearing that the ECP had declared it a “foreign-aided” party and had rejected the declaration of PTI chief Imran Khan false.

“Political parties’ finances are looked after by a chartered accountant,” he argued. “The ECP has targeted PTI.”

The chief justice had said that the ECP had not made any declaration in its report, “the decision of the ECP is sometimes called an order, sometimes a report and sometimes just an opinion. In my opinion, this was a fact-finding report,” he said.

However, the ECP’s representative insisted that it was not just a report but a decision.

“The ECP could not have issued a show-cause notice without giving a decision,” he said.

During a hearing of the case, IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq said: “Are you afraid that Imran Khan will be disqualified on this issue? The ECP will not make any declaration in this show-cause notice, nor will take criminal action against Khan. Its authority extends only to the extent of confiscation of funds.”

Moreover, the court in the previous hearing had also criticised the ECP for taking the matter to the federal government, as doing so had led to a number of cases being registered against PTI by the FIA.

Now, if the court rules in favour of PTI, the notice will be retracted and the cases against the party will be withdrawn. It is also likely that the court will advise the electoral body to reassess the matter.

PTI challenges ECP ruling

On August 10 last year, the PTI challenged the ECP’s ruling in the IHC, seeking annulment of the order in the prohibited funding case.

In his petition filed with the IHC, PTI Additional Secretary-General Omar Ayub asked the court to not only nullify the August 2 ruling, but also revoke the ECP’s show-cause notice sent to PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

The petitioner said he was “grossly aggrieved” by the fact-finding report — which revealed that the PTI had obtained funds from foreign sources — and demanded that it be declared “perverse, incorrect and in excess of authority and jurisdiction”.

In his petition, Ayub also asked the court to “declare that any action suggested by the ECP is beyond its authority and that no action can be taken on the basis of a fact-finding report”.

The PTI also made the ECP a party in the case.

ECP verdict in prohibited funding case

On August 2, 2022, the ECP, in a unanimous verdict, announced that the PTI received prohibited funding. The case was earlier referred to as the “foreign funding” case, but later the election commission accepted the PTI’s plea to refer to it as the “prohibited funding” case.

The commission found that donations were taken from America, Australia, Canada and the UAE.

The PTI received funds from 34 individuals and 351 businesses including companies, the ECP verdict stated.

Thirteen unknown accounts also came to light, said the commission in the verdict, adding that hiding accounts are a “violation” of Article 17 of the Constitution.

The funds were also in violation of Article 6 of the Political Parties Act.

Moreover, the ECP found that Khan submitted a false Nomination Form I and that the affidavit provided regarding party accounts was also not authentic.

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Judge Muhammad Ali Warraich postpones the £190 million corruption lawsuit until June 21.

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The £190 million corruption case at Adiala Jail was heard by Judge Muhammad Ali Waraich of the Accountability Court. The hearing was postponed until June 21.

The cross-examination and statement of one witness took place during the case hearing. At the next hearing, four more witnesses will be put through cross-examination.

Up to now, 30 witness statements have been recorded, of which 22 have already undergone cross-examination.

Bushra Bibi, the founder of the PTI, was in court today throughout the proceedings.

The PTI’s legal representatives in the lawsuit included Shoaib Shaheen, Niazullah Niazi, Salman Akram Raja, and Ali Zafar.

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Nationwide protest gatherings will be held by the PTI on June 14.

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Zahir Shah, the minister of food for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has said that Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) will stage protests across the country to demand the release of PTI founder Imran Khan.

On June 14, protests around the country would take place, according to Zahir Shah Toru.

He added that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s chief minister had made plans for protests in every district.

In the protests, fictitious accusations made against PTI founder Imran Khan and its leadership will be denounced.

There would be no breaking of the law or the constitution, according to KP Minister Zahir Shah.

At 5:00 p.m., the Mardan demonstration will take place.

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Shah Mehmood, founder of the PTI, and others found not guilty in Azadi March case

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Information suggests that court magistrate Malik Muhammad Imran exonerated Imran Khan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and Sheikh Rasheed, the chief of AML, in addition to announcing the reserved verdict.

Acquittal of Sadaqat Abbasi and Ali Nawaz Awan from the Azadi March case was also ordered by the court.

It should be mentioned that numerous prominent members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), like as Shah Mahmood Qureshi, former prime minister Imran Khan, and others, were apprehended by the police in separate complaint letters pertaining to the Azadi March.

Following unrest between police and the PTI leader in the provincial capital, 42 charges were filed against PTI senior leaders and workers for agitation.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had previously found former prime minister Imran Khan and PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi not guilty in a case involving ciphers.

Decisions on appeals from the cipher case’s conviction were announced by Chief Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb of the IHC.

The party’s vice-chairman and founder, who was convicted in a similar case in January of this year, received 10-year prison sentences apiece.

On the other hand, Qureshi’s arrest in the crimes that occurred on May 9th and Imran’s sentences in the Toshakhana and Iddat cases mean that they are unlikely to be released from prison anytime soon.

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