ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday suspended the verdict of the single bench that ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to decide the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) foreign funding case within a month.
A single bench had directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to wrap up the case in a month, over applications filed by the PTI asking for Akbar S Babar’s separation from the case, the dismissal of the case, and keeping the PTI documents secret.
Today’s directive was issued by IHC’s division bench, comprising IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Babar Sattar, in response to PTI’s intra-court appeal challenging a single bench’s order.
“The single bench used the word ‘foreign funding’ in the decision even though the case before the ECP is not of foreign funding but prohibited funding,” he added stating that it was not the prerogative of the bench to order the electoral watchdog to take a decision within 30 days.
CJ Minallah responded to the petitioner that the law permitted the ECP to scrutinize the accounts of political parties every year and if prohibited funding was found it would be confiscated.
The chief justice questioned that if the ECP scrutiny committee confirmed that Akbar S. Babar’s documents were not verifiable, what action is being taken now? “You are saying that the same action should be taken against all political parties.”
While the IHC has suspended the decision, the court has also directed 17 parties including PML-N and PPP, the ECP, Akbar S. Babar and other parties notices seeking a reply by May 17.