ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday reserved its verdict on applications submitted by the PTI seeking secrecy of scrutiny of foreign funding case.

The commission decided to announce verdict in the case on October 10.

Headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan a three-member bench heard arguments on various applications submitted by the PTI to scrutiny committee.

PTI Secretary Finance Sardar Azhar Tariq and his lawyers Saqlain Haider and Hassan Ali Raza appeared before the commission yesterday.

The CEC during the hearing said that the ruling party had submitted four new applications to the scrutiny committee and added that they just wanted to increase burden of work.

He further argued that the committee had sent all applications submitted by the PTI to the commission and asked commission to decide about it.

In response, the PTI counsel Saqlain Haider said that all applications submitted by the PTI had asked the committee to stop leakage of information during committee’s proceedings.

In reply to PTI’s lawyer, the CEC said that it was not fault of the scrutiny committee if information was leaked. 

Saqlain informed the commission that scrutiny parameters were not observed by the committee as per Supreme Court judgment. He appealed to the CEC that court might take notice of leakage of information to the media.

He argued that ruling party had submitted all details to the scrutiny committee but it violated its mandate by making direct contacts with banks to get information regarding the accounts. The PTI lawyer further said that petitioner Akbar S Babar during committee’s precedings with bad intentions had tried to denigrate the party’s image through media while sharing wrong and fake information about party’s foreign funding.

The PTI counsel said that media hype was created against PTI regarding foreign funding case saying that there were issues of information leakage on the basis of documents submitted to the scrutiny committee.

The PTI lawyer informed the bench that all required information about the accounts had been submitted to the committee.

He said PTI never made any concealment but several television shows were aired on media on PTI foreign funding to create a wrong perception in people’s mind.

He said scrutiny committee had been requested several times to share copies of account details as shared by the State Bank of Pakistan attributed to PTI, but they didn’t share it, he added.

The CEC in his comments asked the PTI lawyer to ignore news aired on television.

The counsel of the petitioner Ahmad Hassan in his response told the commission that the news aired on television were leaked by the people inside PTI, arguing that ruling party was trying to escape hearing on pretext of information leakage.

Akbar Babar, Ahmad Hassan denied any involvement in sharing of information to anyone. They clarified that they always talked about facts.

The foreign funding case against ruling party was filed in November 2014 by the PTI founding member Akbar S Babar alleging corruption and money laundering.

The petitioner had claimed that the ruling party had lied to the commission by taking funds from prohibited sources and hid the fake accounts.