ISLAMABAD – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) took legal action by approaching the Supreme Court to challenge the Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) decision that invalidated the ECP’s declaration of PTI’s intra-party polls as “unconstitutional” and revoked the party’s distinctive bat electoral symbol.
In its plea submitted to the top court, the ECP asserted that the PHC decision should be deemed illegal, emphasizing that PTI did not conduct intra-party elections in accordance with the Election Act.
This move followed a meeting within the ECP where options were considered on whether to appeal the PHC decision to the Supreme Court.
Just before filing the plea with the Supreme Court, PTI lodged a contempt of court petition against the ECP, alleging non-compliance with the court’s order regarding the release of the certificate for PTI’s intra-party elections on its website.
PTI argued that the ECP’s failure to upload the certificate constituted contempt of court and named Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja, ECP members, and the secretary as respondents.
Earlier in the day, PTI’s chief election commissioner Niazullah Niazi personally submitted a certified copy of the PHC decision to the ECP.
Following the PHC verdict, the ECP held a brief consultative meeting to discuss the reinstatement of the ‘bat’ symbol for PTI, addressing legal and constitutional aspects. The time constraint adds urgency, as Returning Officers (ROs) are set to allocate poll symbols to contesting candidates on January 13, and the list sent on Tuesday did not include over a dozen symbols, including the “bat.”