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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

PTI withdraws contempt of court appeal against ECP

The PTI withdrew its petition, expressing disillusionment with the ECP and opting to go to public.

The PTI has retracted its request for contempt proceedings against the ECP, alleging non-compliance with the SC’s directives on ensuring a fair electoral process for the upcoming general elections. Initially filed on Dec 26, the contempt plea claimed that the ECP did not address the PTI’s grievances urgently, as instructed by the court. The ECP, in its response on Jan 7, refuted the allegations, stating that 76% of PTI candidates’ nomination papers had been accepted. During the resumed hearing, the PTI withdrew its petition, expressing disillusionment with the ECP and opting to engage with the public. The SC subsequently dismissed the plea.

During the hearing, CJP Isa recalled the court’s directives after a raid on PTI leader Gohar Ali Khan’s house. He mentioned the absence of a response from the PTI leader despite being asked to submit a letter if dissatisfied with the police inquiry. Khosa, addressing the court, expressed disappointment, claiming the PTI’s pursuit of a level playing field was thwarted by the court’s Jan 13 verdict, which affected 230 reserved seats.

Public will decide now 

Justice Isa reiterated the court’s request for documentary evidence of intra-party polls, emphasizing the SC’s order to proceed with general elections without delay. Khosa argued that the ANP had its symbol restored without holding intra-party polls, questioning the disparate treatment. The CJP explained the ANP’s situation and criticized Khosa for damaging institutions. Khosa asserted the PTI’s intention to approach the court of public opinion, expressing distrust in the election commission.

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CJP Isa urged the PTI to either accept or reject the court order, refusing to shoulder the burden of their decision. The PTI, now without its party symbol, claimed confusion for candidates contesting independently. Justice Hilali questioned Khosa about the transparency of elections, with Khosa deeming them completely unfair. The CJP clarified that the court issues orders but does not govern, advising the PTI to file objections on other parties’ intra-party polls. The court questioned the ECP about fairness, criticizing its focus on one political party. Khosa alleged difficulties in forming an alliance and claimed expulsion from parliamentary politics due to the court’s verdict.