PTI faces a blow from IHC over foreign funding case
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday rejected the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) plea to restrain the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from action in the Prohibited Funding case.
A three-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice Aamer Farooq heard the case. IHC Justice Mian Gul Hasan Aurangzeb and Justice Babar Sattar were also included in the bench.
PTI's lawyer Barrister Anwar Mansoor Khan submitted written arguments in the court.
Barrister Anwar Mansoor Khan told the court if the amount received in funding is found to be prohibitive, it can be confiscated.
On this, IHC Chief Justice (CJ) Aamer Farooq said it means, if any such amount is found, it will be deposited in the national treasury.
Barrister Anwar said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had no authority to send the case to the federal government.
The IHC CJ asked the lawyer that is the FIA’s action based on the ECP's report still ongoing.
Replying to this, Barrister Anwar said the cases that have been opened based on the report of the ECP are wrong as the Commission sent the matter related to the dissolution of the party to the federal government.
Barrister Anwar said the ECP had no authority to give any declaration related to PTI.
On this, Justice Mian Gul Hasan Aurangzeb said the matter was to be forwarded only after the ECP determined,
The PTI’s lawyer said there is a difference between prohibited funding and foreign aid.
CJ Justice Aamer Farooq said if the ECP had evidence that the party is foreign-aided, then what would they do? He added that the federal government has not yet sent the reference to the Supreme Court.
PTI lawyer Anwar said the ECP did not have the authority to send the case to the federal government while the FIA investigation started based on the ECP's report
Barrister Anwar Mansoor said his case is not limited to sending the matter to the federal government.
Justice Babar said the ECP has already issued a show-cause notice to you so all these objections can be raised in response to the show-cause notice.
Justice Babar also said that these objections are at a premature stage in the High Court while Justice Aamer Farooq said if there is a decision against you in the show cause notice, what will be the forum?
Chief Justice Aamer Farooq further said the decision on the show-cause notice will be final whether to confiscate the funds or not.
The PTI’s lawyer requested the bench that the case should be heard on a daily basis.
He also appealed to the bench that the federal government should be stopped from taking any further action in this case as the FIA has registered 185 cases against them on the basis.
On this, Chief Justice Aamer Farooq gave a remark that the case of FIA is different.
Barrister Anwar said they may need a week to complete their arguments. The IHC CJ said in this way, this case will go on until May-June.
Chief Justice Aamer Farooq said to PTI’s lawyer to finish his arguments quickly as the court will then give equal time to the other side.
Later, the bench adjourned the hearing till January 10.