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November 11, 2015

ECP adjourns PTI foreign funding case for three weeks

National

November 11, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s foreign funding case was once again stalled on the request by the party lawyer after proceedings at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) were adjourned for another three weeks.
The PTI lawyer was travelling abroad, the commission was informed. The hearing was set for Tuesday to scrutinise the PTI accounts after the ECP had ordered on October 8 that it had all the constitutional powers to scrutinise the party accounts dismissing its arguments questioning the commission’s jurisdiction on the case relating to alleged irregularities in the party funds’ handling.
In a major development, in its order while postponing hearing until December 3, the ECP notified the PTI to respond to the petitioner Akbar S Babar’s application for production of documents.
Talking to media outside the ECP, Babar, who filed the case in November last year, criticised the PTI for its delaying tactics.
In its verbal order, postponing hearing until December 3, the ECP notified the PTI to respond to the petitioner’s application for production of documents. The documents demanded by the petitioner include all local and international PTI accounts and those of PTI employees in whose accounts donations meant for the party were allegedly received.
In addition, the production application demands that PTI should provide details of registration documents as well as money received by the PTI sponsored entities/agents including Limited Liability Companies and PayPal’s in the USA, UK, Canada and Australia or other countries (UAE etc), whether existing or closed, since the establishment of the PTI.
Meanwhile, feeling the heat of possible reaction, the presiding officer, who was allegedly slapped by former parliamentary secretary Rai Mujtaba Kharal, denied before the ECP Tuesday, having being hit by the influential politician.
On this, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (R) Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan plainly told the

presiding officer that if he felt threatened, he could be tomorrow hit even more seriously.
“I am also a weak person,” remarked helplessly, the Okara returning officer, when the poll chief asked him why he did not take any action despite having been conferred powers of first class magistrate.
Despite being asked to appear, Kharal was not present before the ECP. The CEC said he must appear on the next day of hearing, otherwise his warrants would be issued.
In another case, the CEC said they would examine the unconditional written apology submitted by State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali and some of his supporters, including a sitting MPA, for violation of the code of conduct and election rules in the recent local bodies polls.

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