PESHAWAR (Web Desk) — After days of deliberation, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ultimately contested on Saturday the ruling of a single-member Peshawar High Court (PHC) bench that permitted the PTI to run in the February 8 general elections on the “bat” – the party emblem.

The ECP has filed a review appeal in order to get the PHC ruling of suspending its orders declaring the PTI intraparty elections unconstitutional and removing the party from the list of sanctioned political parties overturned, which meant that the party could no longer fight the polls with the symbol overturned.

The single-member panel accepted the PTI’s request on December 26 and reinstated the party emblem until a final judgment was made, as a two-member bench will consider the issue after holiday vacations, according to the court.

According to the ECP petition, a division bench should consider the case quickly since it is of public interest, stressing that challenging any aspect of the election process indicated that the entire process had been contested.

The petition states that the ECP is accountable for conducting elections honestly, justly, fairly, and in compliance with the law by making required preparations ahead of time.

“This court observed that an election is a process that begins with the publication of the election program and includes various links and stages such as the filing of nomination papers, their scrutiny, the hearing of objections, and the holding of actual polls.” “If any of these links is challenged, it truly (is) tantamount to challenging the said election process,” it stated.

“This case implies that where a violation of the standards mentioned in Article 218(3) has not as yet taken place, the Election Commission is legally empowered under Article 218(3) to exercise its powers pre-emptively in order to avoid a violation of these standards,” the petition said.

Furthermore, the plea stated that the petitioners had sought “interim relief” for the suspension of the ECP’s order, and thus the court could not grant final relief as interim relief, implying that the single-bench judgment violated both the law and a 1997 Supreme Court decision.

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