ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) clubbed together all references filed against the Prime Minister and others for their involvement in Panamagate and adjourned further hearing till Nov 2, 2016.
On Monday an ECP bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner and comprising all four members of the commission took up references against the Prime Minister and other for their alleged involvement in Panama Leaks’ scandal.
On the ECP’s direction, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and MNA Hamza Shahbaz Sharif filed written replies on the references. In their replies they challenged the ECP’s authority and jurisdiction to hear references on ‘frivolous’ charges. The replies stated that neither the ECP has authority to take action on baseless charges nor a reference for disqualification of any member can be filed directly in ECP. As per the constitution, the election of any member of the Parliament could not be challenged at any forum except Election Tribunal.
The replies further stated that only Speaker National Assembly had the authority to forward reference against any member to ECP.
The ECP directed the Prime Minister’s counsel to file reply on Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s application pleading the ECP to restrain Prime Minister from functioning.
The ECP adjourned hearing of references against Imran Khan, Senator Liaqat Tarakai, Jahangir Khan Tarin and MNA Capt (Redt) Safdar till Nov 2, while the case of misappropriation of PTI’s funds was adjourned till Dec 1.
The CEC while directing to club together all reference of Panam Leaks observed that the commission would first decide the matter of jurisdiction. He said that the Commission would try to hear the references on daily basis.