ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will hear the foreign funding case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) today after 18 months.
The case was filed on 14th November 2014 by Akbar S Babar, after he developed differences with the PTI chief over internal corruption and abuse of laws governing political funding.
The petitioner alleged that nearly $3 million in illegal foreign funds were collected through two offshore companies, registered under Imran Khan’s signature, and that money was sent through illegal channels from the Middle East to accounts of PTI employees.
He also alleged that the foreign accounts used to collect funds were concealed from the annual audit reports submitted to the ECP.
On 1st April 2015, after scrutinising PTI’s annual audit reports, the ECP ordered that the party had failed to disclose the sources and details of foreign funds received.
But instead of submitting the accounts, the PTI challenged the ECP’s jurisdiction to scrutinise its accounts. On 8th October 2015, a five-member bench of the ECP passed a detailed order saying that only the ECP was the right constitutional forum to scrutinise accounts of political parties.
On 26th November 2015, the PTI challenged the ECP order before the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which finally remanded the case back to the ECP on 15th February 2017.
The last PTI summoned petition in the IHC challenging formation of the ECP scrutiny committee to audit PTI foreign funding and the party’s membership of Babar was dismissed by a single IHC bench on 24th July 2019.