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Tuesday July 23, 2024

Prohibited funding case: CEC gives PTI last chance to respond

Now a long time has passed, the PTI has one last chance,” remarks the CEC

By Our Correspondent
March 29, 2023
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja addresses the National Voters Day ceremony in Islamabad on December 7, 2022. — YouTube/PTVNewsLive
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja addresses the "National Voters Day" ceremony in Islamabad on December 7, 2022. — YouTube/PTVNewsLive

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Tuesday gave the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) last chance to respond to the application filed by Akbar S Babar in the prohibited foreign funding case.

Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja said the plea in relation to the funding case had been pending with the commission since August 23 last year.

“The Election Commission granted the time PTI sought for the collection of evidence. Now a long time has passed, the PTI has one last chance,” remarked the CEC while resuming the hearing on the PTI’s petition filed under the Political Parties Order, 2002, Article 6.

A three-member bench, headed by the chief election commissioner, heard the case.

The commission officials said the PTI had not filed any reply yet.

PTI counsel Anwar Mansoor contended that the Lahore High Court had given notice for the coming Friday.

When the CEC asked if the Lahore High Court had issued a stay order on that count, the counsel replied that the stay order was not issued. The chief election commissioner said this matter had been pending since August 23 last year.

“If the decision is made, it will be against us. That is why, we have approached the High Court,” the counsel said.

Responding, the CEC said they had the last chance to file a reply to the matter.

The PTI counsel again said that for submitting the reply, he had to collect evidence from somewhere and many were being sought from someone. If that evidence would not be available, then how they would reply. “All those who donated, we don’t have their addresses. They are also being looked for,” he added. The chief election commissioner said the commission had granted the PTI enough time to respond, which had now passed.

“We are giving you time but you will not mention it in your reasons that the delay was due to the case pending with the Lahore High Court,” he said.

The hearing was then adjourned till April 18.