ECP seeks Gilani’s reply by April 5 in ineligibility case

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission (ECP) on Monday asked Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader, Senator Yousuf Raza Gilani, to submit a reply in the disqualification case.
A four-member bench headed by ECP’s Punjab member Altaf Qureshi heard the case. The counsels for Gilani and his son Ali Haider Gilani appeared before the authority.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) submitted an amended plea wherein it named the MNAs seen in the controversial video with Ali Haider Gilani as witnesses.
The ECP observed that the directions of the electoral authority were not followed in the case.
Speaking on behalf of PTI, Malika Bukhari said that it was ECP’s responsibility to maintain transparency in the electoral process. She said that the commission may investigate whether there was another lawmaker in the video, saying PTI has already provided the names of the people it knew.
Bukhari added that it is up to ECP to identify the names of members who were offered money [against their Senate seats].
Qureshi commented that ECP will consider in the case only the two members whom the PTI has made a party in the case. He noted that the faces of those holding the conversation in the video are unclear.
Subsequently, the commission made the amended plea by PTI a part of the case. However, the PML-N counsels objected to the same.
The counsel Malik Javed implored that there was no allegation on Yousuf Raza Gilani, and that he will furnish arguments on the petition being non-maintainable. At this, ECP asked the counsel to submit his statement in writing in his response, at which the counsels sought more time.
The authority adjourned the hearing in the case till April 5.
Meanwhile, the hearing of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) foreign funding case at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has been adjourned till March 30 on Monday.
During the hearing of the PTI foreign funding case, the lawyer of Akbar S Babar said that he will not advertise the material if the verified documents were provided to him. He complained about not getting the verified documents from the scrutiny committee.
The ECP member Irshad Qaiser sought a response from the scrutiny committee regarding the submission of documents after being granted six weeks.
ECP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) member said that there is no reason to interfere in the matter if the committee is working appropriately. The ECP KP member said that the committee was asked to present its report.
The lawyer of Akbar S Babar argued that PTI is using tactics to delay the proceedings. The lawyer continued that he has no suspicions over the eligibility of the scrutiny committee.
The ECP KP member said that it will take another 10 years if the details were sought. The original petition was about to inquire about the transaction of money and what was the reason behind it, said ECP member.
The DG Law said that the report will be given to the commission and later it would be handed over to them.
The PTI lawyer said that all records were presented to the scrutiny committee. The commission had ordered many times to give access to the petitioner to the documents.
The member of the ECP commission, Irshad Qaiser, issued directives to complete the scrutiny process within six months. Altaf Qureshi said that it should be highlighted in the report from where the money has arrived and who are the people behind it.
The PTI lawyer pleaded for not advertising the documents. Altaf Qureshi questioned what was wrong in it if the documents were displayed to the public. The PTI lawyer said that he will submit its reply after the provision of documents.
Later, the hearing was adjourned till March 30. – TLTP

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