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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Review Petition filed in SC by PTI against “Bat” Decision

Senior lawyers Hamid Khan and Ali Zafar submitted the petition to the Supreme Court, listing the electoral watchdog and the complainants from the high court as respondents.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)  filed  a review petition on Tuesday  against the Supreme Court’s ruling on January 13, which deemed its intra-party elections unlawful. PTI’s plea to the apex court urges the nullification of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision, asserting it lacks legal jurisdiction and should be overturned.

Senior lawyers Hamid Khan and Ali Zafar submitted the petition to the Supreme Court, listing the electoral watchdog and the complainants from the high court as respondents. The crux of the argument lies in the contention that the Elections Act does not confer authority upon the ECP to arbitrate intra-party election disputes or withhold a common symbol based on purported irregularities. Additionally, PTI contends that the judgement violates the fundamental right to a fair trial as enshrined in Article 10A of the Constitution.

ECP lacks such jurisdiction

PTI points to the January 10 ruling by the Peshawar High Court, which affirmed that the ECP lacks jurisdiction over intra-party election disputes, emphasising that such matters should be resolved through proper judicial processes. The party perceives bias in the ECP’s treatment, citing instances where other parties, like the ANP, were not subjected to similar scrutiny despite failing to conduct intra-party elections.

Moreover, PTI highlights procedural irregularities in the Supreme Court’s handling of the case. Despite constitutional implications, a three-member bench, rather than the required five, presided over the hearings, raising concerns about jurisdictional adequacy.

More to read: Voters with Expired National Identity Cards Permitted to Vote in Upcoming General Elections

The Supreme Court’s decision on January 13 to nullify PTI’s cricket bat symbol, previously reinstated by the Peshawar High Court, dealt a significant blow to the party. The apex court justified its ruling by citing allegations of irregularities during PTI’s internal elections. Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa emphasised the volume of complaints received by the ECP regarding PTI’s intra-party elections, underscoring the seriousness of the matter.