Islamabad, March 17 : The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued notices to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and its own scrutiny committee to appear before it on March 22 to explain their stance over secrecy of scrutiny in the PTI foreign funding case.
This follows a complaint by petitioner Akbar S. Babar against the scrutiny committee’s decision to keep PTI documents secret.
The decision was taken by a three-member bench headed by ECP member from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa retired Justice Irshad Qaiser after hearing Babar’s complaint on Tuesday, Dawn reported.
Babar’s lawyer, Ahmad Hassan Shah, challenged the scrutiny committee’s decision and invoked the Right to Information Act to seek access to the documents.
The lawyer argued that access to PTI documents is a right of the petitioner in light of Article 5(4) of the Political Parties Order, 2002 and Section 203(5) of the Election Act, 2017, Geo tv reported.
By keeping the documents secret, the ECP scrutiny committee is violating the terms of reference of scrutiny that clearly demands scrutiny in the presence of both parties, the petitioner’s lawyer said.
He said the scrutiny process would be a “sham” and “mere attempt to rubber stamp fake documents”.
The lawyer said a secrecy order of the committee is illegal.
About the performance of the committee, Shah regretted that other than writing a letter to the SBP to seek PTI accounts, there has been no investigation into the credible evidence provided regarding illegal funding from across the globe.
He read out excerpts of the scrutiny committee order sheets where the committee has refused to share accounts because of pressure from PTI.