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Friday, May 17, 2024

PHC gives “BAT” back to PTI

Barrister Zafar accused the election commission of becoming an adversary and claimed that even a self-proclaimed member of the commission opposed the PTI regaining the 'bat' symbol.

 

Ahead of the general elections scheduled for February 8, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) delivered a significant relief on Wednesday by deeming the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to revoke the ‘bat’ electoral symbol of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and reject its intra-party polls as unconstitutional. The court instructed the electoral watchdog to return the iconic ‘bat’ symbol to the PTI and publish the party’s internal election certificate on its website. The PHC ruled that the PTI is rightfully entitled to the ‘bat’ symbol.

The two-member bench, consisting of Justice Ejaz Anwar and Justice Syed Arshad Ali, announced the reserved verdict on a petition jointly filed by PTI Chairman Gohar Khan and six other leaders. The petition sought to declare the ECP’s order as illegal and lacking jurisdiction.

On December 22, the ECP had decided to deny the PTI its electoral symbol for the upcoming election, citing the party’s failure to conduct intra-party polls in accordance with prevailing constitution and election laws. The PTI challenged this decision in the PHC on December 26, and a single-member bench temporarily restored the party’s electoral symbol until January 9.

On December 30, the ECP filed a review petition in the PHC, arguing that the court had overstepped its jurisdiction. Shortly after, the high court reinstated the ECP order, stripping the PTI of its symbol once again. Subsequently, the PTI withdrew its appeal to the Supreme Court, as the matter was already under consideration by the PHC.

PTI withdrew appeal from SC

PTI leader Senator Ali Zafar, addressing the media, expressed confidence in the party’s election prospects, emphasizing that the Peshawar High Court consistently delivers verdicts based on law and justice. Zafar accused the election commission of becoming an adversary and claimed that even a self-proclaimed member of the commission opposed the PTI regaining the ‘bat’ symbol. He stressed that failure to add the symbol to the ECP’s website within 15 minutes would be considered contempt of court.

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PTI leader Barrister Gohar, speaking outside the Supreme Court, explained that the case in the PHC had been heard throughout the previous day, with the hearing adjourned until today. Anticipating a verdict, he stated that the PTI had withdrawn its appeal from the Supreme Court, hoping for a just decision from the PHC in favor of the ‘bat’ symbol.