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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Wednesday, approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) challenging its single bench’s order to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to decide the foreign funding case within 30 days.

The PTI leader, Asad Umar, filed the intra-court appeal against the earlier decision of the IHC single bench, wherein, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani had issued a verdict upholding the ECP’s decision to give access to the case’s record to the PTI’s founding member Akbar S Babar and not to remove him from the proceedings.

He stated that the appellant is aggrieved by the IHC’s judgment dated 01.04.2022, whereby, the writ petition filed by the PTI, challenging the ECP’s order dated 15.03.2022, was dismissed and it had also rejected two applications of the PTI dated 25.01.2022 and 31.01.2022 challenging the ECP’s decision of rejecting the party’s plea to disassociate petitioner Akbar S Babar from the foreign funding case and the application of the PTI asking the ECP of not providing Babar with the party’s response on the scrutiny committee report.

The petitioner told the court that the PTI filed an application dated 31.01.2022, praying therein that no document and the reply filed by the PTI before the Respondent No1 (ECP) should be made public as the proceedings were administrative in nature.

He added that in the same manner the appellant filed an application dated 25.01.2022, before the ECP praying therein that the complaint made by the Respondent No2 (Akbar S Babar) be dismissed as no proof has been provided and the report submitted by the Scrutiny Committee of the ECP may be heard without the presence of Respondent No2, Akbar Sher Babar.

He further said that the single IHC bench not only dismissed the writ petition of the appellant but also dilated upon certain issues and passed orders, which were not part of the pleadings nor were argued at the bar and were adjudicated whilst exercising suo moto jurisdiction, without notice to the PTI, with a direction that the ECP is to decide the pending complaint within a period of 30 days by all means, after hearing the parties in accordance with law.

The PTI adopted the stance that the IHC single judge, has held in the impugned judgment that applications of similar nature were previously decided by this Court in which the prayers made for disallowing the Babar right of audience before the Scrutiny Committee and the ECP were dismissed.

It added that the fact remains that the PTI writ petition was filed against the declining of applications dated 25.01.2022 and 31.01.2022, after the Scrutiny Committee finally furnished its report and recommendations before the ECP which is substantially different from the previous proceedings.

“On the submission of the said Report by the Scrutiny Committee it revealed to the Appellant as well as Respondent No1, that the Respondent No2, Akbar Sher Babar, failed to prove his complaint that they were from verifiable sources, hence he may not be allowed to participate in the proceedings before the Worthy ECP and documents, material retrieved by the Scrutiny Committee not forming part of the complaint, may not be shared with Respondent No2, Akbar Sher Babar, as the proceedings pending before the Scrutiny Committee as well as Respondent No1, were inquisitorial in nature. Since the Respondent No.2 could not prove his case and findings of the Scrutiny Committee were based upon the information and material collected at its own may not be shared with the Respondent No2,” said the PTI petition.

It maintained, “The learned Single Judge without any prayer and without any arguments on the same directed ECP to conclude the proceedings of the pending complaint by the next 30 Days by all means could be tantamount to intruding into the domain of ECP, which has to decide matters pending before it in accordance with to its convenience and merits.”

Therefore, it prayed that the instant Intra-Court Appeal maybe allowed, the judgment passed by the IHC single judge dated 01.04.2022 be set aside.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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