Islamabad [Pakistan] : Ahead of the elections set to be held on February 8, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has approached the Supreme Court seeking review of the apex court’s verdict on the party’s intra-party elections and electoral symbol, Pakistan-based The News International reported.
In a review petition filed on Wednesday, PTI has requested the Supreme Court to review its January 13 decision, wherein the apex court upheld the Election Commission of Pakistan’s verdict declaring PTI’s intra-party polls ‘unconstitutional,’ revoking the electoral symbol of the party.
The plea filed by PTI requested the top court to review its decision and restore the decision of the Peshawar High Court, which called the electoral watchdog’s decision ‘invalid’ on January 10, according to The News International report.
The Peshawar High Court announced the decision after hearing the PTI’s petition challenging the ECP’s decision declaring the intra-party polls as null and void and revoking their electoral symbol ‘bat.’
In its petition, PTI emphasised that its intra-party polls held in December were held according to the party’s constitution. In its petition filed in Supreme Court, PTI stated, ‘Election Commission not empowered to review intra-party elections.’
Earlier in January, a three-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Musarrat Hilali annulled PHC’s January 10 verdict and revoked PTI’s electoral symbol bat.
According to the five-page verdict, the apex court judges ‘do not agree with the learned judges [of the PHC] that the ECP did not have ‘any jurisdiction to question or adjudicate the intra-party elections of a political party,’ The News International reported.
In the verdict, the judges stated that accepting any such interpretation would render all provisions in the Election Act, 2017, that need holding of intra-party polls ‘illusory and of no consequence and be redundant’.
The verdict stated that ECP had been telling PTI to hold intra-party elections since May 24, 2021, the time when the party was in power and hence, ‘it cannot be stated that ECP was victimising PTI.’
The apex court court stated that the PTI’s petition filed in the Peshawar High Court was ‘not maintainable’ as it did not reveal that another similar petition was pending before the five-member bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC). It mentioned that although a petitioner ‘may elect to avail of his remedy before either court, but having chosen a particular court the same dispute cannot then be taken to the other court.’