ECP cannot audit party funds: PTI

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief’s counsel, Anwar Mansoor, claimed before the Supreme Court today that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has no right to audit a political party’s funds after they have been audited by a chartered accountancy firm.

Mansoor, the counsel for PTI Chairman Imran Khan, was presenting his arguments before the three-judge Supreme Court bench, which resumed hearing the disqualification case against the PTI chairman today.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi petitioned the Supreme Court late last year to disqualify Imran and PTI leader Jahangir Tareen for ‘not declaring their assets and violating the income tax ordinance and peoples act’. The petition also terms the PTI a ‘foreign funded party’.

Mansoor resumed arguments today after being absent from previous proceedings owing to a medical leave.

Addressing the bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Mansoor argued that the ECP can only conduct scrutiny and not an inquiry of funds.

He claimed the law has no provision for the ECP to inquire into a party’s funds once its details have been submitted to it.

The chief justice observed whether not having the power to scrutinise funds is an acceptable defence by the PTI.

He further remarked that the defence being presented by the counsel is not per the correct interpretation of the law.

Mansoor is continuing PTI counsel Naeem Bukhari’s arguments presenting the money trail of Imran’s properties in London and Islamabad.

The hearing was then adjourned until tomorrow.

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