February, 22, 2024
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PHC Restores PTI's Symbol Ahead of Elections

PHC Restores PTI’s Symbol Ahead of Elections

Infostani International- In a pivotal turn of events preceding the general elections on February 8, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) has nullified the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to revoke the PTI’s ‘bat’ electoral symbol and reject its intra-party polls. The PHC deemed the ECP’s order “illegal” and of no legal effect, directing the PTI to publish its internal polls certificate. This article delves into the legal proceedings, the PHC’s verdict, and the implications for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, shedding light on the intricate legal battle and its impact on the upcoming elections.


Peshawar High Court Invalidates ECP Decision on PTI’s Symbol: A Landmark Verdict in the Run-up to General Elections

In a crucial development preceding the February 8 general elections, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday invalidated the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to withdraw the PTI’s ‘bat’ electoral symbol and dismiss its intra-party polls. The PHC deemed the ECP’s order “illegal, without any lawful authority and of no legal effect.”

In the swift verdict, the PHC directed the PTI to publish the certificate from its internal polls on its website. It affirmed the party’s entitlement to the election symbol under the Election Act, of 2017. A two-member bench, consisting of Justice Ejaz Anwar and Justice Syed Arshad Ali, announced the decision in response to a petition filed jointly by PTI Chairman Gohar Khan and six other leaders. They challenged the ECP’s jurisdiction and declared its order illegal.

The ECP had earlier decided against allowing the PTI to retain its electoral symbol for the February 8 election, alleging the party’s failure to conduct intra-party polls in compliance with its constitution and election laws.

This verdict follows a series of legal maneuvers by the PTI against the ECP’s order. Initially, the high court had reinstated the PTI’s electoral symbol until January 9. However, a review petition by the ECP led to restoring its order, stripping the party of its symbol once again. Following that, the PTI approached the Supreme Court but withdrew the appeal as the PHC was already considering the matter.

PHC Restores PTI's Symbol Ahead of Elections
PTI allowed to contest by-poll under ‘bat’

PHC Decision: PTI Leaders Express Confidence and Critique ECP Actions

After the PHC’s decision, PTI Senator Ali Zafar expressed confidence in the party’s victory in the upcoming polls. He commended the court for upholding justice and law, declaring the ECP’s order unconstitutional, and directing the return of the ‘bat’ symbol to the PTI. Zafar asserted that with this decision, nothing could hinder the PTI from winning the elections.

Recalling the case history, Zafar highlighted that neither the Elections Act nor the Constitution empowered the ECP to revoke a political party’s symbol. He acknowledged that some individuals, who claimed to be PTI members, had advocated for the symbol’s revocation. However, the court’s decision rendered such claims irrelevant.

Barrister Gohar Khan, a senior PTI leader, described the PHC’s verdict as “historic” and emphasized the significance of the ‘bat’ symbol beyond its electoral representation. He criticized the ECP for allegedly attempting to hinder the PTI on various fronts, potentially jeopardizing the party’s right to retain its symbol and impacting 227 reserved seats.

Khan issued a warning, stating that failing to restore the ‘bat’ symbol on the ECP’s website within 15 minutes would constitute contempt of court, an action deemed unacceptable by both the court and the nation. During the PHC hearing, various counsels presented arguments in favor of and against the ECP’s decision. Advocate Naveed Akhtar, representing a petitioner from Charsadda, stated that the Supreme Court had also scheduled a hearing on the matter, but the PTI opted not to pursue it there.

Legal Arguments and Jurisdictional Challenges in PTI’s Electoral Symbol Case at Peshawar High Court

Justice Anwar questioned why the petitioner did not challenge the PTI’s intra-party elections if that was the main concern. Qazi Jawwad, another counsel, contended that the PHC’s jurisdiction extended solely to provincial matters, despite the nationwide conduct of intra-party polls. The court deliberated on whether the PTI should have approached all high courts, and the lawyer insisted on holding the intra-party polls again.

Tariq Afridi, the counsel for another petitioner, argued that Article 199 of the Constitution defined the high court’s jurisdiction and raised questions about the PTI’s preferential treatment since its inception. The PHC judges directed him to focus on legal arguments.

Sikandar Mohmand, counsel for the ECP, defended the commission’s decision, stating that it applied Section 215 of the Elections Act when there was a region. He argued that the PTI had a year to gather information, and the decision depended upon both the Political Decision Exhibit and the party’s constitution. Coming about hearing all questions, the PHC held the decision, which was as needed to be declared around a comparative time. PTI’s Promoter Gohar informed the media that the party had taken out its request from the High Court, as the PHC’s fundamental case decision was fast moving nearer.

By the withdrawal, Babar, a separated spreading-out individual from the PTI, conveyed frustration that the PHC had not given advance notice to colossal respondents. He bore witness to that check of the PTI’s “phony intra-party studies” would have been introduced expecting they were critical for the situation.

PHC Restores PTI's Symbol Ahead of Elections
Pakistani court restores ex-PM Khan’s party symbol ahead of national polls, rules revocation unconstitutional

PHC Verdict Boosts PTI’s Electoral Standing and Raises Questions on Party Conduct

Babar approved that the ECP had full circumstances to go with choices concerning philosophical social events and blamed the PTI for taking from its managers’ distinctions through accepted counterfeit intra-party audits. He supplemented the need to support the ECP as opposed to baffling its capacities.

As the fight in court spread out, PTI laborers tried the “suggestion of party’s tickets” in Islamabad, adding one more layer of a multi-layered plan to the political scene. Babar cautioned that if they did not receive a fair outcome, his party would approach the High Court, and address the alleged unfairness within the PTI.

The PHC’s choice connotes a gigantic improvement in the principal spot up to the overall decisions, giving the PTI a certifiable triumph and fostering its situation as an essential part of Pakistani regulative issues. The court’s accentuation on staying aware of worth and law and order includes the significance of fair and clear constituent cycles in the omnipresence-based scene.