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PHC issues notice to ECP on PTI’s plea seeking contempt of court proceedings against electoral body

CJP Isa led bench hearing ECP's plea against PHC verdict on PTI's polls in this still taken from a video on January 12, 2024. — SC/YouTube

ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa has observed that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is a constitutional body and no one can interfere in its domain.

“Supreme Court will not interfere in the domain of the Election Commission of Pakistan. However, if ECP commits any unconstitutional act then the court can look into it,” the top judge added.

The CJP passed these remarks during a hearing of a ECP’s petition against the Peshawar High Court (PHC) verdict restoring the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) electoral symbol — bat.

A three-member bench of the apex court led by CJP Isa and comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Musarat Hilali took up the plea.

The proceedings of the case are being broadcast live on the SC website and YouTube channel.

A two-member bench of the PHC on Wednesday overturned the ECP decision revoking the election symbol ‘bat’ and rejecting PTI intra-party elections.

PTI leader Barrister Gohar Ali Khan and six other party leaders had filed a joint petition in the high court praying for declaring the ECP decision as illegal and without jurisdiction.

The ECP, however, on Thursday approached the Supreme Court and field a petition for leave to appeal under Article 185(3) of the Constitution against the PHC short order.

In the appeal, the electoral body questioned as to whether considering the importance of the matter the high court was justified in disposing of writ petition through a short order, without giving detailed reasons.

PHC issues notice to ECP

Meanwhile, the PHC issued a notice to ECP on PTI’s plea seeking contempt of court proceedings against the electoral body over its alleged failure to comply with its order on the intra-party polls.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Shakil Ahmad and Justice Waqar Ahmad heard the petition.

PTI counsels Qazi Muhammad Anwar and Shah Faisal Ilyas appeared before the court.

The PTI contended that the ECP failed to publish the certificate of the party’s intra-party polls on its website despite the PHC’s order.

The petition said that the PHC had on Wednesday termed illegal the ECP decision of December 22, 2023, wherein the latter had invalidated the intra-party elections of the PTI and deprived it of its electoral symbol “bat”.

The PTI requested the court to initiate the contempt of court proceedings against the ECP for non-compliance with the court directives.


More to follow..


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