On December 26, the high court delivered its decision on PTI’s petition challenging the Election Commission of Pakistan‘s (ECP) ruling that revoked PTI’s use of the ‘bat’ symbol. Justice Ejaz Khan, a single-member bench, announced the reserved verdict in response to a review plea filed by the ECP against the January 26 single-member bench order. Representing PTI, Advocate Anwar and Barrister Gohar Khan presented their case. During the hearing, Advocate Anwar noted that although the PHC announced its verdict on December 26, it has not been implemented yet. Anwar mentioned that political parties in the court expressed their support for the Election Commission. PTI’s lawyer questioned whether the ECP could challenge the high court’s ruling and inquired about any contempt case filed by PTI. Justice Khan asked if PTI filed any contempt case and stated that PTI desires the ECP to conduct free and fair elections. The court reserved the verdict after hearing arguments from both sides.
Background: On December 2, the ECP nullified Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf‘s intra-party elections, marking the third time since last year, rendering PTI ineligible for its traditional electoral symbol of the ‘bat.’ The ECP stated that PTI had not complied with their directives and failed to hold intra-party elections in accordance with PTI’s prevailing Constitution 2019 and Elections Act 2017, and Election Rules, 2017. PTI challenged the ECP verdict in the Peshawar High Court, where Barrister Gohar Khan was elected as the chairman of the party during the intra-party elections held on December 2. The elections faced criticism, with PTI founding member Akbar S. Babar alleging a selection process that aimed to remove party workers and give control to a few lawyers.