PTI 'bat' symbol case: PHC adjourns hearing till tomorrow

Top electoral body had challenged PHC's single bench ruling which restored PTI's 'bat symbol'

Daniyal Aziz
Peshawar High Court (PHC). —
 Peshawar High Court (PHC). —

  • PTI lawyers request adjournment of hearing till tomorrow. 
  • Single-member bench comprising Justice Ijaz Khan hears plea.
  • PHC had suspended ECP's order on PTI 'bat' symbol. 

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) will hear the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) petition challenging its single bench ruling on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) electoral 'bat' symbol and intra-party elections on Wednesday (tomorrow).

The electoral body had filed a review petition at the high court against its December 26 decision which had suspended the ECP's order and restored the party's 'bat' symbol till a final decision on the matter.

The ECP, in its order, had declared PTI's intra-party polls "illegal" and stripped it of using the 'bat' symbol. Following its order, the former ruling party approached the PHC seeking to restore its party symbol ahead of the general elections slated for February 8.

In its petition, the ECP then requested the court to review the PTI's intra-party elections and its decision related to the election symbol. 

Earlier today, a single-member bench comprising PHC's Justice Ijaz Khan conducted the hearing and reserved the verdict. However, the PTI lawyers did not appear before the court and later requested to hear them before deciding the plea.

After this, the court adjourned the hearing till tomorrow.

The hearing

During the hearing, the ECP's lawyer presented his arguments and told the court that the body had filed a review plea against the high court's order. He added that the ECP also issued a notice to the PTI in this regard.

"PTI did not conduct the intra-party elections properly. Questions were raised on ECP's powers and it was said that ECP's decision was unconstitutional," the ECP counsel said.

The lawyer said that the single bench suspended ECP's order and issued a stay order without hearing the electoral body's arguments.

The stay order granted by PHC was not an interim relief but is tantamount to final verdict on the matter, said the lawyer.

"The PTI also filed a petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) when you can't move second court after filing a plea in another," said the ECP's lawyer.

Justice Khan asked if there was anyone present from the petitioner's party in the court.

At this, the ECP lawyer said that there was no one. He then requested the court to withdraw the December 26 order, adding that a bench should be constituted to hear the case properly.

Meanwhile, the advocate general said that the federation doesn't want to be a party in the case. "We have nothing to do with it, we should be removed from this case," he added.

The court then reserved the verdict after hearing the arguments.