ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Thursday questioned if the Election Commission of Pakistan is not competent to investigate foreign funding then who would do it.

PTI Counsel Anwar Mansoor in the previous proceedings had pleaded that under the Political Parties Order (PTO) 2002, the Election Commission has no jurisdiction to probe foreign funding as this has become a closed transaction.

A three-judge bench was hearing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Hanif Abbasi’s petition against Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan and PTI General Secretary Jehangir Khan.

Justice Faisal Arab inquired from the counsel of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf chairman what is the relationship between Imran Khan and Rashid Ali Khan? PTI chairman’s former wife Jemima Khan had remitted money in the account of Rashid Khan.

Naeem Bukhari informed that both are fast friends and have family relationship. He pleaded that the petitioner, Hanif Abbasi, had contested election against Imran Khan in 2013 but lost. He said Abbasi never raised objection on the nomination papers of his client. He also did not file a petition against Imran Khan in the Election Commission.

The chief justice remarked that it seemed it was the counter blast in view of Panama Leaks. Justice Faisal Arab said in order to disqualify someone there is a need to have solid evidence.

Chartered Accountant Asim Zulfiqar Ali appeared before the bench and informed that he had audited the PTI’s accounts. Asim told that he works for A F Ferguson & Chartered Accountant Company and has also advised the Prime Minister in financial matters but now professionally associated with the PTI.

The chief justice asked from the chartered accountant if someone has earned money in a foreign country and purchases property there then under the Income Tax Law whether he is required to declare it in his tax returns.

The chartered accountant informed that since 1947 there are three income tax laws. According to them, if a person continuously resides in Pakistan for 182 days then he is considered the resident, but if a Pakistani remains outside the country for 182 days then he would be considered a non-resident.

He said if a person earns money from abroad then it is not binding upon him to declare it in his tax returns. The chief justice said that according to Imran Khan that he had purchased flat in London from his cricket money, which he played in England and Australia. The CJP further said that Imran Khan has not declared it in his tax returns till 2002.

Asim replied that if it is proved that London flat was purchased from the foreign earning then tax law would not apply on him. The hearing is adjourned till June 13.