Disenfranchisement Case: Imran Khan’s Party Calls For Full Court Hearing

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on Sunday has requested the Supreme Court to expedite its review petition challenging the decision to deny the party its ‘bat’ symbol for upcoming general elections.

In its application, PTI pointed out that the scope of the current review petition overlaps with the ongoing case regarding reserved seats, which is being deliberated by the full bench of the Supreme Court. The core question revolves around whether the removal of PTI’s ‘bat’ symbol by the Election Commission of Pakistan resulted in the party being denied reserved seats, or if the ECP misinterpreted the Supreme Court’s earlier directive.

PTI emphasized that unless both issues are heard together by a larger bench, the matter of reserved seats and PTI’s entitlement to them will remain unresolved, potentially causing irreparable harm to the party.

The party’s plea for an early hearing by a larger bench was accepted, and a panel of 5 judges reviewed the applications. PTI argued that the implementation of the Supreme Court’s January 13 judgment, upholding the ECP’s decision to strip PTI of its symbol, has severely disadvantaged both the party and the public, who were deprived of their right to elect PTI candidates under a unified symbol.

Highlighting constitutional violations and the urgency of the situation, PTI stressed that delaying the resolution of the case could have detrimental consequences.

On Sunday, Justice Athar Minallah of the Pakistan Supreme Court directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to justify to the court why PTI was legitimately excluded from the electoral process, leading to the forfeiture of its claim to reserved seats.

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About the Author: Meera Verma