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Monday August 08, 2022

PTI withdraws judicial reference against CEC to add more evidence

Fawad Chaudhry says that they would file the reference against CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja after adding more legal points to it

By Web Desk
August 04, 2022
PTI Chairman Imran Khan (left) and Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja. — PID/AFP/Twitter/File
PTI Chairman Imran Khan (left) and Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja. — PID/AFP/Twitter/File

ISLAMABAD: Soon after filing a reference with the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP), seeking the removal of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja, PTI on Thursday withdrew its petition to add more charges against the head of the election body.

Confirming the report, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that the reference has been taken back so more supportive evidence can be added.

Points relating to alleged change in the ruling of ECP in prohibited funding against PTI would be included in the reference, he added.

The PTI leader said that they would file the reference against CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja after adding more legal points to the petition.

Earlier, the PTI, a day after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ruled PTI received prohibited funds from foreign nationals, filed a reference with the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP), seeking the removal of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja citing his "continuous deliberate misconduct".

"It is humbly prayed that [...] Supreme Judicial Council may graciously be pleased to remove the respondent from his office of Chief Election Commissioner on account of commission of continuous deliberate misconduct of perming his legal and constitutional duties and obligations," read the reference filed by PTI's counsel Babar Awan on behalf of the party.


The reference mentioned that the PTI has no other "efficacious remedy" against the election commission, hence, it has invoked the constitutional jurisdiction of the JCP under Article 209 of the Constitution.

"The PTI is the single largest party of Pakistan which has its elected members in all four provinces, including Gilgit-Baltistan & Azad Kashmir. Its pray for the removal of the respondent cannot be overlooked in a mechanical manner."

The reference read that the PTI was "directly and indirectly aggrieved" against the chief election commissioner's decisions in separate cases since he took office in 2020.

It mentioned that despite bearing the CEC's decisions for some time, PTI's doubt converted into a "strong belief" that Raja is leaving no stone unturned to favour PML-N and PDM.

In doing so, the chief election commissioner is damaging the PTI without any just "rhymes and reasons malafidely for ulterior motives", the reference said.

It further stated that on July 29, a PDM delegation met the CEC and consequently on August 2, the verdict of the prohibited funding case was announced — which was against PTI.

The reference said that since the CEC had admitted to meeting the PDM delegation days before the verdict, he has violated his oath, enshrined in the third schedule of the constitution under article 214.

The reference did not end there as the PTI also alleged that the CEC helped the PTI's "arch-rivals" in the Daska by-election, recent Punjab by-election, and other occasions.

The prohibited funding ruling

After a wait of nearly eight long years, the ECP's three-member bench Tuesday announced the verdict on the PTI's prohibited funding case — which was earlier referred to as the foreign funding case.

As per the 68-page order, the commission states that the Imran Khan-led PTI did indeed receive funding from foreign companies and individuals, which it hid.

The commission found that donations were taken from America, Australia, Canada and the UAE.

PTI received funds from 34 individuals and 351 businesses including companies, the ECP verdict states.

Thirteen unknown accounts have also come to light, said the commission in the verdict, adding that hiding accounts are a "violation" of Article 17 of the Constitution.

The funds were also in violation of Article 6 of the Political Parties Act.

Moreover, the ECP found that PTI Chairman Imran Khan submitted a false Nomination Form I and that the affidavit provided regarding party accounts was false.

For now, the ECP has issued a show-cause notice to the party to explain why the prohibited funds should not be confiscated.