ISLAMABAD -  The Supreme Court yesterday directed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf to provide all the account books and bank statements of the last four years, which it supplied to the chartered accountant for preparation of the party’s audit report.

The chief justice said the PTI account statements filed in the Election Commission of Pakistan did not show the details of foreign collections given to the chartered accountant. “We want to see account books containing foreign collections, when the company was created, what its nature was and whether those documents were supplied to the chartered accountant for preparation of the audit report submitted to the ECP,” said the chief justice, while heading a three-judge bench which heard PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi’s petition against PTI Chairman Imran Khan and General Secretary Jehangir Tareen.

Akram Sheikh, representing the PML-N leader, contended that the manner in which the PTI was submitting the documents showed they were not tracing the documents, but preparing them.

The chief justice remarked it takes time to arrange old documents. He said they would examine in case of any forgery. “We want a thorough probe,” the CJP said and added the Supreme Court had done the fact finding which was more than the investigation.

Ibrahim Satti, appearing on behalf of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), without taking name of Imran Khan, said the head of a political party who could become prime minister or president of Pakistan if submits certificate in the ECP that his party has received no foreign funding and it is proven otherwise, then it is a serious issue.

The counsel contended that the political parties should mention funds generated locally and abroad in their account statements.

He submitted the account statements of the PTI for 2009, 2010 and 2011 and said the statements of 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 would be filed by the next hearing.

Justice Faisal Arab questioned whether it was not the job of the ECP to check the foreign funding of the parties in accordance with the Political Parties Order 2002.

Ibrahim Satti said under the law the political parties had to disclose their local and foreign funding. He admitted the PTI account statement mentions money in US dollars, but said they had not disclosed whether those funds were from the prohibited sources or not.

The counsel informed the court that if a political party works against the sovereignty of Pakistan, it could be banned, but if a party had received foreign funding, the ECP could stop it from contesting the elections besides confiscating the funds.

Satti added the reason for stopping a foreign-funded party from participating in elections was that its members would sit in the parliament if they won the elections.

The counsel admitted that in the past the ECP had not scrutinised the parties’ foreign funding and acted only like a post office. He said the ECP took action on the complaint of former PTI leader Akbar S Babar. He further said that in the past the religious political parties had received funds from abroad.

Justice Umar Atta Bandial said in this case the ECP had received information, and under the rules the commission was supposed to keep a check on foreign funding and ask the parties to disclose its sources of funding. “Why did the ECP wait for the complaint and why did it not proceed on its own?” Justice Bandial said. He added the ECP should do its duty according to the law.

The court has issued notices to Imran Khan’s counsel to file reply.

JEMIMA'S DOCUMENTS

SUBMITTED IN SC

INP adds: PTI chief Imran Khan on Wednesday submitted a money trail of Bani Gala property being received from Jemima in Supreme Court.

Sources said Jemima has asked the authorities not to disclose the details regarding bank accounts, letters from Luxembourg bank and other records.

According to the documents, Jemima transferred $2.17 lakh in April 2002 and $2.75 lakh in July 2002 in the account of Rashid Khan while she also gave $1 lakh on January 22, 2003.

 

 

TERENCE J SIGAMONY