ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in a unanimous verdict on Tuesday ruled that the PTI received funds from prohibited sources.
In its verdict, the ECP said that the party, in violation of the Constitution, the PTI prohibited funds had come from 34 foreigners. The party received funds from US, Australia and UAE.
Before announcement of the verdict, security in the capital was put on high alert with deployment of riot police outside the ECP building.
Key points of ECP ruling:
PTI Pakistan knowingly and willfully received donations from Wootton Cricket Limited registered in Cayman island which was operated and owned by a business tycoon Arif Masood Naqvi, the owner of Abraaj Group. The Respondent party was a willing recipient of prohibited money of US $ 2,121,500.
2) PTI Pakistan knowingly and willfully received donations from Bristol Engineering services — a UAE-based company, an amount of US $ 49,965/- into its accounts in Pakistan which are hit by prohibition in violation of Pakistani Laws.
3) PTI Pakistan knowingly and willfully received donations from E-Planet Trustees a Cayman island Pvt registered company trust, based in Zurich Switzerland, and SS Marketing, Manchester a UK-based Pvt Company. From both the companies an amount of US $ 101,741/- into its accounts in Pakistan which are hit by prohibition and in violation of Pakistani Laws.
4) PTI Pakistan knowingly and willfully received donations through PTI USA LLC-6160 and PTI USA LLC-5975 US $ 2,525,500/-. From both the companies, the amounts received into its accounts of PTI Pakistan are hit by prohibition and in violation of Pakistani Laws.
5) PTI Pakistan knowingly and willfully received donations through PTI Canada Corporation and PTI UK Public Ltd company an amount of US $ 279,822/- and GBP 792,265/- respectively. Similarly, an amount of PKR 3,581,186/- was also donated by PTI Canada Corporation to PTI Pakistan. From both the companies, the donated amounts received into its accounts of PTI Pakistan are hit by prohibition and in violation of Pakistani Laws.
PTI Pakistan knowingly and willfully received donations from Dunpec Pty Ltd, an Australia-based company and from Anwar Brothers, Zain Cotton and Young Sports (Pakistan-based companies) a total amount of PKR 689, 750. From both the companies, the amounts received into its accounts of PTI Pakistan are hit by prohibition and in violation of Pakistani Laws.
7) PTI Pakistan through fundraising campaigns carried out by PTI USA LLC-6160 and PTI USA LLC-5975 was the recipient of donations from 34 foreign Nationals and 351 foreign-based companies. The foreign nationals’ collection of donations and contributions from foreign national and companies are hit by prohibition and in violation of Pakistani Laws.
8) PTI Pakistan has also been found to be a beneficiary of donations by Ms Romita Shetty, a US-based businesswoman of Indian origin. An amount of US$ 13, 750/-donated by Romita Shetty is hit by the prohibition on donations by foreign nationals and in violation of Pakistani Laws.
9) PTI through its submission before the commission has accepted ownership of only eight (08) accounts while it declared 13 accounts under the category of unknown accounts and not pertain to PTI accounts. The data obtained from SBP reveals that all the 13 accounts disowned by PTI were opened and operated by the senior PTI management and leadership at the Central and Provincial levels. In this regard, it is further added that PTI failed to mention and disclose three accounts which were also being operated by the senior leadership of the party. Non-disclosure and concealment of 16 bank accounts by PTI is a serious reporting lapse on the part of PTI leadership and in violation of Article 17 (3) of the Constitution of Pakistan.
10) The chairman of PTI for the financial year 2008-09 to 2012-13 (Five Years) has submitted Form-I which were found to be grossly inaccurate on the basis of the financial statements obtained by this Commission from SBP and other material available on record.
“Therefore, in view of the material available on the record and above discussion, the matter falls within the ambit of Article 6 (3) of PPO, 2002. Hence the Commission directs that a notice may be issued to the Respondent party in terms of Rule-6 of PPR 2002, as to why the aforementioned prohibited funds may not be confiscated. The office is also directed to initiate any other action under the law, in the light of this order of the Commission.”
The verdict said the PTI had accepted funds from a US business personality.
The Election Commission declared that the affidavit submitted by the party related to funds was false.
A three-member bench, comprising Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and ECP members Nisar Ahmed Durrani and Shah Muhammad Jatoi announced the verdict.
The demand for an announcement of the verdict in this important case increased following an explosive story by the Financial Times, revealing the sources of funding of the PTI.
The electoral body had reserved the judgment on June 21 this year after a record period of eight years, making it a unique case in the country’s history.
The petition was filed by Akbar S. Babar — one of the PTI’s founding members and former information secretary — in November 2014.