ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf seeking to keep its foreign funding confidential and directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to decide the case within a month.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani termed the petition non-maintainable, misconceived and an attempt to get Akbar S. Babar barred from the ECP’s proceedings.

The court upheld a decision by ECP by dismissing another PTI plea seeking to stop the commission from sharing documents with Akber S. Baber.

The ECP had dismissed the PTI’s two applications on March 15 seeking exclusion of its disgruntled founding member Akbar Babar from the foreign funding case.

Asad Umar, the PTI’s secretary general, had filed the petition before the IHC.

The party had also pleaded that all records of the case, including documents requisitioned through the State Bank, should not be shared with Mr Babar.

Akbar S. Babar had filed the case in Nov 2014.

The PTI argued in its petition the ECP had “failed to appreciate the real issue in the matter, which was mentioned in the report of the scrutiny committee”, adding that the report had three parts.

The first part dealt with generalisations, citing the law that was referred to, the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Terms of Reference made by the ECP.

The second dealt with information given by Akbar S. Babar to ECP. The third proceeded to investigate itself having come to the conclusion that the complainant had failed to provide “verifiable details and credible evidence” to substantiate his claims.

“Thus the scrutiny committee relied on the material requisitioned from the State Bank of Pakistan and the annual declarations filed by PTI with the ECP and not the information supplied by Babar and the report was prepared rejecting the information supplied by him”, the petition said.

It went on to state that the scrutiny committee’s understanding was that the “information obtained is not from Akbar Babar, but was obtained by the ECP and it ought to be kept confidential”.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2022

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