Sunday, March 3, 2024
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HomePakistanSupreme Court Issues Detailed Verdict on PTI's "Bat" Symbol Case

Supreme Court Issues Detailed Verdict on PTI’s “Bat” Symbol Case

The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) issued a detailed verdict on Thursday regarding the allocation of the ‘bat’ symbol to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), unraveling a situation that revolved around the failure to hold intraparty elections.

In a comprehensive 38-page decision, the SCP held PTI officials accountable for the loss of the ‘bat’ symbol, emphasizing the significance of intraparty elections. The court pointed out that the ECP had repeatedly notified PTI to conduct intraparty elections, but the party failed to comply.

According to the SCP, 14 PTI candidates had lodged complaints about being denied the opportunity to contest elections due to the absence of intraparty elections. The responsibility for this, the court asserted, lay with those overseeing the party’s affairs, accusing them of hindering democratic processes within the party.

The Supreme Court highlighted a crucial principle in its decision, stating that political parties should not be deprived of their electoral symbol for ordinary violations. However, the failure to conduct intraparty elections was deemed a severe violation of the constitution and the law.

The court underscored that PTI had kept its own members uninformed about the intraparty election process. In accordance with the law, the PTI, the court ruled, should not be allotted the ‘bat’ symbol. Moreover, the Election Act empowers the electoral watchdog to reclaim the election symbol from a political party for violations, as specified in the Act, such as the failure to conduct intraparty elections as mandated by the party’s constitution.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the Peshawar High Court (PHC) verdict, the SCP criticized the PHC for not waiting for the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) final decision on the matter, which was still under consideration by a larger bench.

The Supreme Court’s decision also shed light on specific instances where PTI members assumed key roles without proper documented records. For example, Omar Ayub was noted to consider himself for a post similar to that of the PTI Secretary General, while Barrister Gohar Ali Khan took on the role of the party chairman without solid documented evidence of holding these positions.

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