ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) is set to announce the verdict in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) led by Imran Khan prohibited funding case today against the ruling of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), reported Geo News.
In August 2022, the election commission issued a show-cause notice to the PTI after it concluded that the party received funding from prohibited sources. The notice was later challenged in the IHC.
The court had reserved its verdict on the party's petition against the ECP's ruling last month. A larger bench of the IHC -- comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Miangul Hassan and Justice Babar Sattar -- had reserved its verdict on January 11 after arguments were completed, reported Geo News.
During the hearing, the court had observed that the ECP's responsibility was merely to do what the Constitution permitted -- which was limited to the confiscation of funds.
While the ECP during the hearing claimed that it had no power to change its decision, the court had observed that should the PTI present in the court satisfactory evidence -- proving the legitimacy of the funds -- the amount would not be confiscated, reported Geo News.
The PTI counsel had argued during that hearing that the ECP had declared it a "foreign-aided" party and had rejected the declaration of PTI chief Imran Khan false.
"Political parties' finances are looked after by a chartered accountant," he argued. "The ECP has targeted PTI." The commission found that donations were taken from America, Australia, Canada and the UAE, reported Geo News.
The PTI received funds from 34 individuals and 351 businesses including companies, the ECP verdict stated.
Thirteen unknown accounts also came to light, said the commission in the verdict, adding that hiding accounts are a "violation" of Article 17 of the Constitution.
Moreover, the court in the previous hearing had also criticized the ECP for taking the matter to the federal government, as doing so had led to a number of cases being registered against PTI by the FIA, reported Geo News.
Now, if the court rules in favour of PTI, the notice will be retracted and the cases against the party will be withdrawn. It is also likely that the court will advise the electoral body to reassess the matter.
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