Foreign funding case: IHC rejects PTI’s plea against ECP’s fact-finding report

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday rejected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) plea against the fact-finding report of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in the foreign funding case.

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The petition was heard by a larger bench that included Justice Babar Sattar, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, and Chief Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC.

The verdict preserved the ECP’s show-cause notice to PTI.

The court decided that the case could be investigated further by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

In addition, the court denied PTI’s request to transfer the case to the federal government.

The verdict said that ECPs’ decision to send the federal government its tentative findings about Article 2(c)(iii) of the Political Parties Order (PPO) as part of the fact finding report was pointless.

It stated that if the federal government decides to act on these speculative findings, it would need to do so independently after giving PTI a chance to be heard.

“We have not been informed by any of the parties before us that the federal government has chosen to act on the findings that are part of the fact finding report for the purposes of Article 15 of the PPO.” This is because the fact finding report is part of the PPO.

Because of the petitioner’s concern that such tentative findings might provide a basis for the federal government to take adverse action against PTI in violation of its due process rights, we are therefore unwilling to expunge any portion of the fact finding report.

“We are not inclined to judicially review the Fact Finding Report at this stage as we find the petition to be premature for the aforementioned reasons.”

After the show cause hearings are over, the petitioner will be free to use legal recourses, such as asking a constitutional court for judicial review if advised, in the event that PTI is dissatisfied with the final decision made by ECP.

The verdict read, “We dismiss the instant petition accordingly because it is premature.”

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