ISLAMABAD   -  Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday filed an application in the Islamabad High Court for early hearing of PTI foreign funding case.

In the application, he stated that the hearing of the case did not resume after September 18, 2018 and therefore, requested the court to hear the intra-court appeal in this matter at the earliest.

In this matter, the case was first filed in November 2014 by PTI disgruntled member Akbar S Babar who accused the PTI and its leadership of corruption and illegal funding of the party. The proceedings of the case were delayed in the ECP as the PTI had filed a writ petition in October 2015 in the IHC seeking to restrain the ECP scrutiny of its accounts.

In February 2017, the IHC remanded the case back to the ECP for a fresh review of its jurisdiction. On May 8 last year, a full bench of the ECP once again expressed its complete jurisdiction over the case and stated that the PTI had failed to produce any evidence that the petitioner had been expelled from the party and hence lost the right to question PTI accounts.

Later, the PTI moved IHC and in his petition, PTI Chairman Imran Khan prayed to the court to declare the proceedings initiated by the committee against him “void, unlawful, without lawful authority and against the Constitution”.

The PTI chairman stated in the petition that the ECP through the March 12 order constituted a second committee, comprising three members that included two members of the first committee, who distanced themselves from the committee due to personal reasons, resulting in the first committee to dissolve.

He added that after dissolution of the first committee, a second committee was constituted “but the terms of reference of the committee are violative of the observation of the Supreme Court as well as order passed by the IHC”.

Khan said that the committee constituted by the ECP did not bother to read the orders passed by superior courts and shared all confidential documents with Akbar while Akbar made all the proceedings of the committee public via his social media accounts. He contended while referring to the IHC’s order passed on September 7, 2017 that the court had ruled that “the Election Commission of Pakistan shall not share the details of the source of foreign funding of the PTI with any other individuals — including respondent No 2 [Akbar] till a final decision of this petition.”

Imran’s counsel maintained that Akbar’s participation in the proceedings of the committee “is sheer violation of the guideline of the Supreme Court”. He said that Akbar did not come with clean hand because he approached the ECP after his expulsion from the party and “[Akbar] is not free from malice, ill will and just aimed to harass the petitioner”. He continued that the impugned order is based on mala fide intents and is not passed in a transparent manner. He added that Khan, in compliance of the IHC’s order, submitted all documents before the ECP.

Therefore, he prayed to the court to set aside the ECP’s March 12 order and declare the committee proceedings “void, unlawful and without lawful authority against the Constitution and law on the subject in the interest of justice”.