SC fixes hearing for PTI’s plea for free and fair elections

elections Supreme Court

ISLAMABAD: In a significant development, the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan has scheduled a hearing today for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) plea, seeking equitable treatment in the upcoming general elections.

The matter was brought to the court’s attention during the hearing of a cipher case against former prime minister Imran Khan. PTI’s counsel Niazullah Niazi addressed a three-judge bench led by interim Chief Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, highlighting that PTI candidates were facing obstacles in filing nomination papers.

Justice Masood responded by questioning the eligibility of candidates with outstanding legal issues, stating, “If your candidate is an absconder, how can he file the nomination paper?” Niazi responded by citing instances of torn nomination papers and the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) delay in announcing a verdict on election symbols.

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Subsequently, the court established a three-member bench, including acting Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Athar Minallah, to oversee the case.

In the petition filed under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, the PTI has contended that district authorities, as well as provincial and federal governments, are treating the party unfairly in comparison to other political entities.

PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali submitted the petition, naming the federation of Pakistan through its secretary, Ministry of Interior, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), and chief secretaries of Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Sindh, and Balochistan as respondents.

The PTI urges the apex court to instruct the respondents to ensure a level playing field for fair elections, emphasising the importance of justice. The party seeks protection against harassment of its members and leaders, demanding equal participation in the electoral process.

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