The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday filed a review petition in the Peshawar High Court (PHC) against the suspension of its decision to not let the PTI retain “bat” as its electoral symbol for the February 8 general election.

The high court on Tuesday suspended the ECP’s declaration of the PTI’s intra-party polls as unconstitutional as well as the subsequent revocation of the party’s iconic symbol.

The court had also ordered the ECP to publish the PTI’s certificate on the commission’s website and restore the party’s election symbol “keeping in view the urgency, that a political party has been denuded of its symbol, meaning hereby that aspirants from the general public who were willing to vote for the petitioners’ party were divested of their right to vote as per their choice”.

The ECP filed a review petition in the high court today, arguing that its verdict was “against the law as well as against the dictum laid down by the Supreme Court.

“The constitution unambiguously vests the powers and jurisdiction in the commission to make factual determinations in regard to subject matters of writ petition,” the petition reads.

The ECP, in its petition, stated that the high court’s powers were limited to its territorial jurisdiction whereas the PTI’s election symbol was to be allocated across the country.

On the basis of that argument, the ECP claimed, the PHC’s order was “beyond [its] territorial jurisdiction”.

The commission urged the high court to constitute a special bench to hear its review petition at its earliest as the “matter pertains to the national interest”.

The decision to restore the PTI’s election symbol was also disagreed with by the PML-N, who on Thursday accused the court of undermining the ECP’s authority and even questioned the impartiality of the high court’s judge who passed the order, claiming that his relatives were poised to contest the Feb 8 polls on tickets of Imran Khan’s party.

However, speaking to the media outside the court, PTI counsel advocate Moazzam Butt said the ECP’s decision was deficient and that it did not want to conduct free and fair elections.

“I am surprised at the mockery they’re making of the courts,” Butt said.

The Chief Justice of the high court is being threatened within the court, Butt said. He added that police have been stationed outside the high court as well.

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