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PTI election symbol: PHC reserves verdict on ECP’s review plea

PTI bat symbol

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday reserved its verdict on the review petition of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against restoration of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) electoral symbol, ‘bat’.

Sikander Mohmand, the counsel for the ECP, presented to Justice Ejaz Khan, urging the withdrawal of the PHC’s decision to suspend the electoral body’s verdict.

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Justice Ejaz remarked that single bench would not decide the case as it was set before a division bench for January 9 and reserved the verdict. It may be noted that the Justice Kamran Hayat had suspended the decision of the ECP regarding annulment of results of the PTI intra-party elections and withdrawal of its electoral symbol.

The court had ordered the ECP to issue the PTI intra-party election certificate on its website and also restore the party’s electoral symbol ‘bat’. The ECP filed a review petition against Justice Kamran Hayat’s decision on December 30.

At the outset of proceedings, when Advocate Mohmand requested for suspension of the PHC decision, Justice Ejaz questioned him on whether there was any precedence where the Supreme Court observed that a high court order applies to the entire country. The counsel submitted that the Supreme Court had suspended the decision of the Lahore High Court (LHC) regarding a returning officer’s observation.

Continuing his arguments, Advocate Mohmand said the PHC issued orders ex parte. Moreover, the PTI sought interim relief and a decision in one application, that was why he requested for suspension of the order. Justice Ejaz asked the counsel where the petitioner in the case was, the lawyer replied he did not know.

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Advocate Mohmand requested the court to suspend the PHC order till January 9 when the division bench would hear the case, but Justice Khan observed that the court would not issue a verdict and announced reserving his decision.

After days of deliberations, the ECP on Saturday finally challenged the verdict passed by a single member PHC bench, which allowed the PTI to contest the February 8 general elections on the symbol “bat”. – INP

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