The incarcerated former prime minister Imran Khan’s party secured a partial victory in a legal dispute as the Peshawar High Court, on Tuesday, temporarily halted an election commission directive to strip the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf of its electoral symbol, a cricket ‘bat.’
Last week, the Election Commission of Pakistan rendered a verdict rejecting the intra-party polls of Mr. Khan’s party and prohibited the use of the ‘bat’ as the party’s electoral symbol.
Challenging this decision in the Peshawar High Court, the party underwent a thorough hearing, resulting in Justice Kamran Hayat Miankhel suspending the ECP ruliBarrister Gohar Ali Khan, recently elected as the party’s new chairman in the intra-party polls held in Peshawar, expressed optimism, stating, “It is the victory of justice, and we hope that in the final decision, the court would permanently revoke the ECP ruling.”
During the hearing, PTI counsel Barrister Ali Zafar emphasized that when a party submits its intra-party poll details to the ECP, the commission typically issues a certificate and posts it on its website. However, Mr. Zafar argued that, as of now, the certificate has not been uploaded to the ECP website.
On Tuesday, PTI challenged the ECP order and urged the court to expedite the hearing of the matter. The party contended that the ECP’s proceedings questioning the PTI’s intra-party polls were “coram non-judice (without jurisdiction) and without lawful authority.”
The party requested the court to instruct the ECP to publish the results of the PTI’s intra-party polls on its website and restore the party’s symbol.
Imran Khan, currently in custody on corruption charges, including the Toshakhana case, was granted bail in the cypher case after the Supreme Court’s intervention last week. The ECP’s verdict, resulting from a detailed examination of the inner workings of the party, declared the PTI ineligible to obtain an election symbol for the upcoming general elections.