The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has rejected Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's (PTI) appeal to halt the election body's proceedings on the foreign funding case, issuing the party yet another "last chance" to submit its full financial records — this time by September 7.

Following the initial arguments on Wednesday, the election body had reserved its judgement on the appeal. PTI's lawyer Anwar Mansoor had asked the ECP to stop the proceedings in the foreign funding case as a similar case is also being heard at the Supreme Court against his client.

Mansoor, on Wednesday morning, submitted his client's reply before the five-member tribunal of the ECP, chaired by the chief election commissioner, which has been hearing a petition filed by Akbar S. Babar — a former PTI member.

Babar's petition also seeks party chairman Imran Khan's disqualification on the charges of collecting party funds from "prohibited" sources.

The submitted reply, however, did not contain any details of the party's funds.

When the petitioner's lawyer, Ahmed Hassan, pointed out that the details sought by the ECP were missing from the response, Mansoor told the court that the relevant documents had already been filed with the Supreme Court, adding that the ECP is a party to the case that is ongoing in the apex court.

Mansoor told the ECP tribunal that the SC had not asked for the party's entire funding history.

"Perhaps there is an element of prejudice in some corner of the ECP," the lawyer alleged.

Dismissing his claims, the commissioner said that seeking details does not mean that prejudice exists.

"As a party to the SC case, the ECP should not proceed with hearings on this case," Mansoor maintained.

The commissioner told the lawyer that it would have been better if he approached the SC with a request to halt the ECP proceedings.

The petitioner's lawyer, however, argued that the nature of the case being heard in the apex court was different from that of the ECP case.

Hassan added that if the PTI submitted the details of its funds, it would become clear if they were received from prohibited sources or not. He asked the ECP not to hear PTI's request, claiming that it was an attempt to avoid furnishing the financial details.

"The PTI has been asked to submit the details 21 times," he said.

In May this year, the ECP had given the PTI another chance to produce its financial records in the foreign funding case — despite issuing the same directives twice before.

Earlier: ECP angry at PTI ‘delaying tactics’ in foreign funding case

On Dec 1 last year, the ECP had also ordered the PTI to submit its accounts or face ‘legal consequences’. Instead of complying with the orders, the party had accused the ECP of ‘political bias’ which led to a contempt application against Imran Khan filed by petitioner Akbar S. Babar.

Long-drawn case

The case was filed on Nov 14, 2014 by Babar, after he developed differences with the PTI chief over internal corruption and abuse of laws governing political funding.

The petitioner had alleged that nearly $3 million in illegal foreign funds were collected through two offshore companies, registered under Imran Khan’s signature, and that money was sent through illegal ‘hundi’ channels from the Middle East to accounts of PTI employees. He also alleged that the foreign accounts used to collect funds were concealed from the annual audit reports submitted to the ECP.

In April 2015, after scrutinising PTI’s annual audit reports, the ECP had ordered that the party had failed to disclose the sources and details of foreign funds received.

But instead of submitting the accounts, the PTI had challenged the ECP’s jurisdiction to scrutinise its accounts.

Last month, Islamabad High Court rejected PTI's plea to prevent the ECP from hearing Babar's petition, saying that the case has been going on since 2014 and has already once been referred back to the ECP.

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