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PTI loses bat symbol in major blow ahead of elections

  • Three-judge Supreme Court bench chaired by CJP Isa rules unanimously on the election commission's appeal
Published January 13, 2024

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lost its "bat" symbol just days before the general elections after the Supreme Court on Saturday reversed a ruling rendered by the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on January 10. The court ruled that the party could not demonstrate that it had held internal party elections, much less transparent ones.

The top court earlier reserved its verdict on a petition filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) challenging the PHC order, which reinstated the PTI's bat electoral symbol.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa had earlier in the session pressed the PTI lawyers to provide proof of its insistence on holding intra-party elections.

A three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa and Justices Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Musarrat Hilali heard the case.

On January 10, the PHC declared as unconstitutional the ECP's decision to revoke the PTI's ‘bat’ electoral symbol and reject its intra-party polls.

The high court directed the ECP to hand the PTI its bat electoral symbol back. It also directed the body to upload the party’s certificate of internal elections on its website.

Later, the ECP approached the apex court, contending that the high court’s decision violated the Constitution and the law.


PTI’s intra-party elections, in which Barrister Gohar was elected as chairman of the party after being nominated by PTI founder and former chairman Imran Khan, were held on December 2 on directives issued by the electoral body.

However, the polls had drawn sharp criticism as estranged PTI founding member Akbar S. Babar announced that he would challenge the entire process.

He had alleged that the PTI had carried out a selection process aimed at throwing out party workers to give the reins to a few lawyers.

PHC’s interim order: PTI moves SC for early hearing of appeal

On December 22, the electoral body nullified the former ruling party’s intra-party elections, for the third time since last year, declaring the PTI ineligible for obtaining its traditional electoral symbol of ‘bat’.

In its verdict, the ECP said, “So keeping in view the clear mandate of Elections Act 2017 - it is held that PTI has not complied with our directions rendered therein order dated 23rd November, 2023 and failed to hold intra-party election in accordance with PTI prevailing Constitution 2019 and Elections Act 2017, and Election Rules, 2017.

“Therefore, the certificate dated 4th December, 2023, and Form-65 filed by the alleged chairman, is hereby regretted and rejected accordingly.

“The provisions of Section 215 of the Election Act 2017 are hereby invoked and PTI is hereby declared ineligible to obtain the election symbol for which they have applied for.”


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Parvez Jan 13, 2024 12:23pm
Our judicial system is not only inconsistent but down right comical at times....a IHC ruling given in 43 minutes overturning a SC ruling given by 7 judges after months of deliberation is acceptable but two judges of the PHC in two separate rulings is being looked at suspiciously. If this is not inconsistent and openly puzzling.... the.what is it ?
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KU Jan 13, 2024 01:05pm
The popularity contest has rigged winners, but at the cost of more political uncertainty. Yet, when was the last time that country or people of Pakistan were ever a priority. We have become a joke for the world and an example on, how not to ruin a country!
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Fazeel Siddiqui (Overseas Pakistani) Jan 13, 2024 02:27pm
لوہے کو لوہا ہی کاٹتا ہے۔ قاضی فائز صاھب کا پی ٹی آئی کے تمام مقدمات میں فوجی انداز پسند آیا۔
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Johnny Walker Jan 13, 2024 03:36pm
Munsif's are scared of boots. Easy to guess that Bat will be dismantled.
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Fazeel Siddiqui (Overseas Pakistani) Jan 13, 2024 04:03pm
قاضی فائز جمہوریت کے لئے سب کی طرف سے لڑ رہے ہیں۔ تحریک انصاف پاکستان میں انصاف اور قانون کی بالادستی کی بات کرتی ہے تو اسی پیمانے پر اسکا محاسبہ ہونا چاہئے۔ جو انصاف اور قانون کی بات نہیں کرتے اسے روندتے ہیں تو ان سے گلہ یا محاسبہ کیسا، انہیں اجازت ہے۔
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Bk Jan 13, 2024 04:50pm
Boots are hell bent on destroying our country one institution at a time. Think they are the big bosses, while in reality they are boot lickers of Americans and through their tyranny are making Pakistanis people slaves of US and when needed, their hired guns! If people don’t rise to save themselves then their future is very dark!
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KU Jan 13, 2024 07:09pm
Flabbergasting and surreal, is how todays proceedings of SC will best be remembered and explained. It should be very clear to everyone that the much mentioned ''fundamental rights'' of citizens are very well preserved in the legal books and constitution, and that's about it. History is in the making, by throwing reality of emotions and wishes of people in the air.
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Aslam Tanoli Jan 13, 2024 08:42pm
Qazi is exposed and the whole corrupt system is exposed
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Dr Kamran Jan 13, 2024 11:44pm
Sad day
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BILAL SHOUKAT Jan 13, 2024 11:47pm
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Lubna Jan 14, 2024 12:05am
What a sad day for Pakistan and Democracy. The elite capture will make Pakistan weak. Those who are celebrating will regret in less than 2 years. For Qazi Faez Issa you are the worst human being ever born.
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zh Jan 14, 2024 12:51am
@Aslam Tanoli, Kazi's corruption was never hidden. Kazi would NOT reveal source of foreign properties but claim those were acquired by honest means. He would not be able to exist without pleasing his two masters.
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zh Jan 14, 2024 12:56am
Kazi Isa is a controversial judge being a pet of the establishment and Nawaz Sharif. Not surprisingly, he judgments are also controversial.
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