ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has rejected an application by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) seeking the cross-examination of key witnesses in the so-called prohibited funding case against it.
The tribunal has instead decided to proceed with the show-cause notice that was issued to the PTI in August of last year, after documenting questionable funding amounting to over $7 million.
The three-member bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, announced the verdict on Wednesday after resuming the hearing that was previously adjourned on December 20.
In response to the show-cause notice, the PTI had filed a fresh application requesting the cross-examination of the scrutiny committee and bank officers. However, the ECP rejected this request and dismissed the objections raised against CEC Raja’s show-cause notice.
During the hearing, Raja questioned the progress of the case in the Islamabad High Court (IHC). “What was the IHC’s decision?” he asked, to which PTI lawyer Nadeem Amjad replied that the IHC had directed the ECP to hear the parties.
Raja remarked that the commission has not been stopped from taking action, and urged for the case to move forward. He noted that the PTI had sought six weeks’ time for arguments, and action had been taken on August 23. However, over six months have passed since then.
The CEC acknowledged that time was sought to obtain records from abroad. However, the PTI’s counsel filed a petition to postpone the hearing of the case for two weeks, which CEC Raja denied.
“The two weeks’ time cannot be given now,” he said.
As a result, the ECP adjourned the hearing until March 28. The decision comes as the case against the PTI continues to unfold, with further developments expected in the coming weeks.