It was heavy news to end a four-day trip. The Supreme Court late Saturday stood by the Election Commission’s surely questionable agreement to take the bat from the PTI. It is a judgment that earlier seems unbelievable to be checked upon favorably in history.
Just days after it upturned a past Supreme on lifetime disqualification underneath Article 62(1)(f) on the grounds that the seat that previously decided the element had ‘read into the Constitution’ to conjure up a punishment that never existed, a three-member bench of the apex street under the incumbent chief thrust seemingly endorsed a very comparable transgression by the ECP.
Despite there being no certain provision in the election rulebook that gives the ECP rulebook to deny a governmental party’s election symbol on the base of a contested intra-party election, the ECP had gone ahead and done just that. Now, it can rest easy; it has the Supreme Court’s signature of approval.
Given the implications of the punishment imposed on the PTI, that too mere weeks before a general election is due to take place, most legal observers following the proceedings in the Supreme Court had agreed that for the top court to endorse the ECP decision would be tantamount to denying the public their constitutional right to vote for the parties and political leaders of their choice.
What the Supreme Court made of this line of reasoning will be clearer once the detailed order of the court is available to be perused in detail. Meanwhile, word will spread today: one of the most popular parties in the country has been knocked out of the elections by the Supreme Court based on a technicality.
It will not be easy for the PTI support base to come to terms with the move. One also wonders what the general impact of this decision will be on how ‘free and fair’ the upcoming elections are publicly perceived to be.
It must be said that it was strange to observe the
Thinking and importance were given to the trivia of the PTI’s constitution during the hearing of this case. One of the countries would have been where it has been despondent to have the Election Commission given as much logic and deliberation to the nature of Pakistan, whose clear guidelines respecting the democratic system have been violated by it with such creative process disregard on different occasions in the completed year.
Lastly, one must also allocate some of the criticisms of the PTI’s lawyers in the canister, most of whom stand powerless to argue the party’s case productively and briefly before the street. At this point, however, that seems side by side. The party has bigger trouble to ponder. Will this setback be possible?