SC reviews ECP’s appeal on PHC order about PTI symbol

Web DeskJanuary 13, 20243394 min
SC reviews ECP's appeal on PHC order about PTI symbol

The Supreme Court resumed its session on Saturday, continuing the examination of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) petition challenging the Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) decision to reinstate the electoral symbol ‘bat’ for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). The three-member bench, including Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, and Justice Musarrat Hilali, is overseeing the proceedings, which are being broadcast live on the Supreme Court’s website.

Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, during the hearing, expressed a desire for upcoming elections in the country. This follows the PHC’s nullification of the ECP’s decision to revoke PTI’s electoral symbol, citing irregularities in the party’s internal polls.

In the prior session, the CJP highlighted that the high court’s decision mandated the provision of the electoral symbol and certificate to the PTI but did not include the declaration of its intra-party elections.

Also Read: PTI Reveals Candidates For Peshawar Seats In Elections 2024

As the current hearing began, Chief Justice Isa acknowledged the detailed order issued by the PHC. PTI’s legal representative, Hamid Khan, presented arguments, joined by PTI lawyer Ali Zafar, the party’s chief election commissioner Niazullah Niazi, and chairman Barrister Gohar in the courtroom.

Hamid Khan aimed to conclude his arguments promptly, noting the imminent deadline for submitting party tickets to the ECP. Chief Justice Isa acknowledged the time constraints and suggested that a verdict might be announced on the same day.

Justice Mazhar posed two crucial questions: whether the ECP has the authority to investigate intra-party polls and whether the apex court has jurisdiction over such matters.

PTI’s counsel contended that the ECP lacks the right to review a party’s intra-party polls under the Elections Act 2017 or the Constitution. He argued that the ECP had exhibited discrimination against PTI, emphasizing that none of the party’s members had challenged the intra-party election, and those raising objections were not party members.

Zafar supported these arguments, pointing out that the commission’s December 22 order did not cite any irregularities, and the reasons provided were deemed “strange” by the PTI.

Chief Justice Isa urged the lawyer to contextualize the allegations against the ECP and maintain a focus on legal arguments. Following further discussion, the CJP observed that the PTI’s constitution stipulates the election of the chairman every two years and others every three years, implying a potential violation of the party’s constitution.

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