A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab, is conducting proceedings into Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi’s petition seeking Imran’s disqualification for concealing his assets and the ‘foreign funding’ of his party.
Abbasi’s counsel Akram Sheikh is conducting his rebuttal over the arguments of the PTI chief’s counsel.
Presenting his arguments, Sheikh said “how can someone who submitted a false certificate be considered sadiq [honest] and amin [truthful].
Justice Bandial observed that the receipt of prohibited funds has to be established first. The chief justice remarked that it is the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) job to determine if prohibited funds were acquired by the PTI.
In response, Sheikh contended that the ECP has no say in this matter, and that if a commission [by the ECP] is formed, it should be asked to completely probe the matter.
Justice Bandial observed that the PTI’s agent [in the US] has given a sworn statement saying no prohibited funds were received — how can the party chief be considered responsible in these circumstances?
Imran Khan does not acknowledge the jurisdiction of the ECP, argued Sheikh.
The chief justice observed that the court will decide on the powers of the ECP to probe this case.
During Tuesday’s hearing, the court observed that nobody could be unseated from Parliament for filing a false declaration regarding party funds.
The chief justice observed that under the Political Parties Act, no one could be disqualified for filing a fake certificate regarding party funds. Similarly, he said that in the Representation of Peoples Act, nothing is mentioned regarding the consequence of filing a false declaration of party assets.
The bench was responding to claims by the PML-N leader’s counsel that the PTI received funds from dubious sources and thus its chief should be disqualified for not being ‘sadiq’ and ‘amin’ as he hid the true sources of party funds.