LHC dismisses petition against revoking PTI election symbol ‘bat’

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LAHORE (APP): The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday dismissed a petition, challenging the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) order of declaring intra-party elections of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) unconstitutional and revoking the party’s election symbol ‘bat’.

The court held that the petition was not maintainable at this stage in the light of the Supreme Court judgements and pendency of identical matters before different benches of the Peshawar High Court.

Justice Jawad Hassan announced the reserved verdict on a petition, filed by Chaudhry Umar Aftab Dhillu, Sheikhupura District PTI president, and others. The court had reserved the verdict after hearing arguments of the parties a day earlier.

In his arguments, the petitioners’ counsel had argued that the PTI intra-party elections were held in accordance with the party constitution, and all required documents were submitted to the ECP as per the Elections Act. However, the ECP declared the appointments of the PTI officials as void and also revoked the party’s election symbol ‘bat’, he added.

He submitted that there was no justification to declare the intra-party elections as void and revoking the party’s election symbol. He termed the ECP order discriminatory and pleaded with the court to set aside the order after declaring it illegal.

However, a federal law officer submitted that the petition was not maintainable as the petitioners did not have any locus standi in view of pendency of identical matter in the Peshawar High Court. He further submitted that the ECP orders were in accordance with the Elections Act and rules framed under it. A provincial law officer also objected to maintainability of the petition.

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