Supreme Court of Pakistan: Career Opportunities
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Electoral Symbol Dispute-In a significant setback for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the Supreme Court delivered a decisive blow, declaring the Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) January 10 order as ‘null and void.’ This ruling, just moments before the electoral symbol ‘bat’ was to be allotted, has profound implications for PTI’s political landscape.

Intra-party Election validity

The three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faiz Isa, deemed PTI’s intra-party elections unconstitutional. The unanimous verdict, reached after a two-day marathon hearing, was broadcast live on the apex court’s website.

Lack of Transparency

The court highlighted PTI’s failure to provide evidence of transparent intra-party elections, emphasizing that all political parties must adhere to the principles of free and fair intra-party elections. This verdict challenges PTI’s democratic credentials.

Rejecting PHC’s Jurisdiction

Chief Justice Faez Isa asserted the inadmissibility of the case in Peshawar High Court, emphasizing that a single case cannot proceed simultaneously in two High Courts. The Supreme Court underscored that the PTI’s petition failed to disclose a similar pending case in the Lahore High Court, rendering it ‘not maintainable.’

Credible Complaints

The verdict pointed out that 14 PTI members, with established credentials, had lodged complaints with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) about the non-conduct of intra-party elections. PTI’s dismissal of these claims, despite credible association with the party, raised questions about its commitment to democratic principles.

Upholding ECP’s Authority

The Supreme Court upheld the ECP’s authority to question and adjudicate intra-party elections, emphasizing that such oversight is essential to uphold the Election Act, 2017. The verdict dismissed the notion that ECP’s actions amounted to victimization, stating that PTI had been called upon to conduct intra-party elections since May 24, 2021.

Timeframe Extension

The top court’s decision coincided with the ECP’s extension of the deadline for electoral symbol allotment, indicating the anticipation of the Supreme Court’s ruling. The delay in the verdict announcement heightened the suspense, eventually revealed at 11:30 pm.

Ensuring a Level Playing Field

During the hearing, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar emphasized the importance of PTI conducting transparent intra-party elections to ensure a level playing field. This resonated with the Election Commission’s plea challenging the PHC’s decision to restore PTI’s ‘bat’ symbol.

Legal Arguments

PTI’s legal counsel, Barrister Ali Zafar, argued against the ECP’s right to review intra-party elections, citing constitutional provisions. However, the Chief Justice pressed for clarity on allegations of mala fide, urging PTI to substantiate claims and maintain a strictly legal stance.

SC’s Non-Interference Stance

In a previous hearing, Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa emphasized that regulating political parties falls under the Election Commission’s jurisdiction. While the SC won’t interfere, it retains the authority to address unconstitutional acts by the ECP.

Read Also: Election Commission Nullifies PTI’s Intra-Party Polls and Symbol Ahead of General Elections


The Supreme Court’s nullification of PTI’s ‘bat’ symbol underscores the importance of transparent intra-party elections for political parties. This ruling reshapes PTI’s electoral landscape, emphasizing adherence to democratic principles within the party, a crucial aspect for sustaining democracy in Pakistan.

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