February, 22, 2024
PTI's Legal Struggles: CJP Isa and Election Symbol Challenge

PTI’s Legal Struggles: CJP Isa and Election Symbol Challenge

Infostani International- The PTI’s legal team has given up on its contempt petition, indicating a diminishing optimism in securing support from Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa amidst the current political scenario, as they grapple with legal setbacks.

Challenges and Contradictions: PTI’s Legal Struggle and Mistrust Dynamics with CJP Isa

Since September 17 last year, the party’s legal journey has been marked by a tense relationship with CJP Isa. Despite the PTI’s efforts, including a social media campaign, it has struggled to sway CJP Isa’s stance on seeking relief in political matters.

CJP Isa has also refrained from entertaining a letter from PTI founding chairman Imran Khan, urging notice regarding the alleged harassment of party supporters. Similarly, Aitzaz Ahsan’s petition, addressing the alleged enforced disappearance of PTI leaders, faced its decline, adding to the party’s legal woes.

The Supreme Court, under CJP Isa’s leadership, recently moved to reinstate the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision, declaring PTI’s intra-party elections unconstitutional, dealing another blow to PTI. Consequently, PTI finds itself stripped of its election symbol for the upcoming elections.

However, PTI appears poised for a countermove. Sources suggest that the party is gearing up to challenge the top court’s order with a review petition in the works. However, a senior PTI lawyer confirmed that the filing won’t happen immediately.

Some legal experts find themselves perplexed by the party’s seemingly contradictory stance. While PTI openly expresses mistrust in CJP Isa, its legal team prepares for a review petition—scheduled to appear before the same bench led by CJP Isa. The scenario is not the first of its kind, as several political parties in the past have expressed mistrust in the top adjudicators. CJP Isa wouldn’t go down as the only chief justice to earn mistrust.

PTI's Legal Struggles: CJP Isa and Election Symbol Challenge

Political Parties and Judicial Mistrust: A Historical Perspective and the PTI’s Current Dilemma

Notably, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) voiced mistrust against former CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry during his tenure. Former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani, similarly, refrained from filing an intra-court appeal against his contempt case conviction.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) joined the ranks by expressing mistrust in ex-CJP Mian Saqib Nisar. The party opted not to challenge Nisar’s judgment, which resulted in Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification as the party head.

The PML-N’s decision stemmed from the belief that seeking relief from ex-CJP Saqib Nisar might prove futile. Both PML-N and PPP also expressed no confidence in the three-judge bench led by ex-CJP Umar Ata Bandial. The development occurred when the ruling on the former deputy speaker of Punjab Assembly Dost Mazari’s case was contested, leading the parties to request the formation of a full court.

PTI Faction’s Dilemma: Soft Corner for CJP Isa Amidst Election Symbol Denial

A PTI leader says that one faction had held a soft corner for CJP Isa. However, the decision to deny the election symbol has come as an embarrassment for this section of the party. Hamid Khan stood by CJP Isa during the PTI-led government’s filing of a presidential reference against him. Meanwhile, superior bar associations have maintained silence on the Supreme Court’s order.

Press conferences today may provide insights, with the Independent Lawyers group expected to voice consistent support for CJP Isa.  However, it is unlikely that representatives of the superior bars will raise objections to the judgment.