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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday sought written arguments from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in its petition challenging Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) fact-finding report in prohibited funding case against the party.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Aamer Farooq and also comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Babar Sattar heard the petition filed by PTI Additional Secretary General Omar Ayyub praying the court to declare the ECP’s decision dated August 2 as illegal.

The bench also directed the PTI lawyers to provide a copy of these arguments to Akbar S Babar who is a disgruntled PTI leader and a complainant in the prohibited foreign funding case.

Anwar Mansoor Khan, representing the petitioner, contended that the ECP had declared the deposited money in accounts as prohibited funding.

He said the said amount was collected abroad and remitted to Pakistan. What is wrong if the concerned company had admitted that this money was sent by it, he added.

He told that as per the procedure after the scrutiny of any party’s accounts a show-cause was used to be served and then a final decision was taken. But in this case, the ECP declared this notice as the final verdict and proclaimed PTI as foreign funded, he said.

The lawyer also gave reference of a verdict of the apex court and a US law and said that how his party could be declared as foreign funded. However, he admitted that the ECP had authority to collect the relevant data.

Then, the court asked the PTI’s leader to prepare paper work for it and submit written arguments on the next hearing.

Latter, the bench deferred the hearing till November 22 for further proceedings.

The petitioner contended that the ECP has passed the Impugned Fact Finding Report dated 02.08.2022, based on incorrect facts, incorrect application of law, beyond its jurisdiction and in an unreasonable, irrational, bias manner.

“The exercise of executive is to be exercised reasonably, rationally, proportionately, justly, without any bias or ulterior motive, supported by reason and explanation. The ECP, in the Impugned Fact Finding Report, has not adhered to any principles which regulate the discretion of an executive body,” he submitted.

He maintained, “The Impugned Fact Finding Report is tainted with malafides, arbitrary and without lawful jurisdiction, in excess of lawful authority and in violation of Articles 17(1) & (2) of the Constitution of Pakistan. The Impugned Fact Finding Report in fact shakes the principles of democracy and violates the fundamental rights of the Petitioner under Article 9 & 17(1) & (2).”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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