Political parties answerable over source of funding, observes SC
Political parties answerable over source of funding, observes SC: The Supreme Court observed on Monday that every political party is answerable over its source of funding according to Article 17 (3) of the Constitution. A three-judge bench of the apex court was hearing the disqualification petition against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.
During the hearing, the PTI chief’s counsel, Anwar Mansoor, claimed before the bench 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 was presenting his arguments before the bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Umar Ata Bandial, after previously being absent on medical grounds.
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 continued PTI counsel Naeem Bukhari’s arguments presenting the money trail of Imran’s properties in London and Islamabad.
PML-N’s counsel Akram Sheikh is expected to present his arguments tomorrow.
The hearing was later adjourned until tomorrow.
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’.
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