PTI chief approaches SC to challenge ECP's jurisdiction in foreign funding case

January 25, 2020

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Challenging IHC's decision on Akbar S Babar's party membership, Imran says ECP does not have jurisdiction in the matter. — EOS/File
Challenging IHC's decision on Akbar S Babar's party membership, Imran says ECP does not have jurisdiction in the matter. — EOS/File

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the Islamabad High Court's decision of declaring Akbar S. Babar a part of PTI and reverting the case regarding the party's foreign funding back to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

A long-winding case — filed by Babar and others — regarding the scrutiny of sources of PTI's foreign funding has been pending since 2014. The case had earlier been presented to the ECP. However, the PTI had petitioned the IHC, questioning the ECP's jurisdiction in the matter.

In February 2017, the IHC had remanded back to the ECP for a fresh review of its jurisdiction. At the time, the court had also declared Akbar S Babar a part of PTI.

On May 8 of the same year, a full bench of the ECP had once again declared its complete jurisdiction over the matter and stated that the PTI had failed to produce any evidence that the petitioner had been expelled from the party and hence lost the right to question the PTI's accounts.

In March 2018, a scrutiny committee had been formed to look into PTI's foreign funding accounts to ascertain any wrongdoing.

Since then, the PTI sought secrecy in the scrutiny of its foreign funding. A request to this affect was rejected by the ECP on October 10, 2019.

In today's petition to the SC, the PTI chief has raised questions about various aspects of the case, including the IHC's declaration that Babar is a part of PTI. "Babar has not been a part of PTI since 2011. An email in which Babar tendered his resignation is part of the case record," the petition claimed, while adding that a high court cannot use Article 199 to rule on conflicting facts.

Basing his argument on the fact that Babar is not a part of PTI — which he posed to be in his 2014 petition — the PTI chief has asked the top court to declare that the ECP does not have jurisdiction to hear the case.