ISLAMABAD: The ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Monday challenged the decision of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) wherein the latter directed the respondent and the petitioner to nominate two chartered accountants each in Foreign Funding case, and filed a review petition before ECP against this decision.
PTI’s counsel Shah Khawar filed the review petition in ECP. The ruling party took the stance that appointing chartered accountants in the case at this stage would cause it to further delay.
On the other hand, Akbar Sher Babar, the petitioner against PTI in Foreign Funding case, appeared before the Scrutiny Committee along with his counsel Ahmad Hassan and provided the names of two chartered accountants from his side.
The Scrutiny Committee’s meeting was adjourned due to the absence of the panel’s Chairman and Director General (Law) at ECP Muhammad Arshad.
“We have provided the names of chartered accountants but PTI is running away from accountability and it has challenged ECP’s decision regarding nominating two chartered accountants,” Babar told the media outside ECP after the case hearing.
On April 14, the ECP upheld the Scrutiny Committee’s decision and rejected Babar’s petition seeking to be handed over the record of PTI’s finances while allowing the petitioner to review the record only in front of Scrutiny Committee. The commission also directed the respondent and the petitioner to nominate two chartered accountants each in Foreign Funding case. It also directed Scrutiny Committee to complete proceedings of Foreign Funding case by the coming May 31.
On March 30, the Scrutiny Committee submitted a report to ECP wherein it categorically accused Babar of repeatedly filing ‘frivolous petitions’ causing delay in the conclusion of the case proceedings.
The Scrutiny Committee was of the view that the petitioner was repeatedly filing new petitions in the case on frivolous pretexts which was the main reason the case was still pending.
In previous hearing of the case on March 22, the head of Scrutiny Committee told ECP that this case “would never end if it keeps taking new turns.”
“These proceedings will never end if this case kept taking new turns. The petitioner [Babar] daily comes up with new petitions in the case,” Arshad, the Scrutiny Committee’s Chairman, said.
He strongly defended his decision to keep the details of 23 bank accounts of PTI classified by not sharing them with the petitioner. The Scrutiny Committee head said he was legally empowered to do so as head of the Scrutiny Committee and that he was not answerable in this regard. The relevant record of PTI’s finances could not be shared with Babar and the onus of responsibility -to prove allegations levelled against the respondent- was on the petitioner, he told ECP.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021