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ECP moves the SC against restoration of PTI’s electoral symbol by the PHC

Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) approached the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday against the Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) decision to restore ‘cricket bat’ as the PTI’s electoral symbol.
The apex court has allotted a number to the ECP’s appeal.
In the petition, the electoral watchdog contends that the high court’s decision was in violation of the Constitution and the law.
Later, the top court fixed the ECP’s petition for a hearing on Friday. A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faiz Isa, will conduct the proceedings.
Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Musarrat Hilali are also part of the bench.
The PHC had a day earlier annulled the ECP’s ruling revoking the party’s electoral symbol citing irregularities in the PTI’s intra-party polls.
In the short order, the high court said that the watchdog’s order was “illegal, without any lawful authority and of no legal effect”.
The court had further instructed the ECP to publish the certificate submitted by the PTI after its internal polls on the commission’s website. Moreover, it had affirmed the PTI’s entitlement to the election symbol in accordance with sections 215 and 217, along with other applicable provisions of the Election Act, 2017, and Election Rules, 2017.
Following this ruling, the ‘bat’ electoral symbol was returned to the PTI.
The PTI, after earlier submitting an application regarding the allotment of its election symbol in the SC, withdrew it on January 10.
The apex court dismissed the petition on grounds that it was withdrawn.
A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Musarrat Hilali, had been formed to hear the case.
At the hearing, PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar expressed the intent to withdraw the application.
Separately, the electoral body called an important meeting today in the wake of the PHC’s ruling. The meeting was held at the ECP Secretariat and was presided over by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja.
Similarly, on December 26, the PHC had suspended the electoral watchdog’s decision to nullify the PTI’s intra-party polls and revoke its popular ‘cricket bat’ symbol.
The ruling had said that as “elections are scheduled to be held on February 8, 2024, and last date for allotment of election symbols is January 13, 2024, so keeping in view the urgency that a political party has been denuded of its symbol, meaning thereby that aspirants from the general public who were willing to vote for the petitioners’ party were divested of their right to vote as per their choice”.