PTI internal elections are over but: Battle continues in civil courts
RAWALPINDI, Feb 13: Activists of the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) who had obtained court orders restraining the party from holding intra party election in the Rawalpindi district stopped their counsel on Wednesday from filing contempt charges after the party went ahead with the elections.
“I advised them to file a contempt of court petition against the PTI election commission but it appears that the party’s senior leadership has intervened to settle this matter out of court,” Malik Amir, one of the counsel of the disgruntled PTI activists told Dawn.
Civil judges Mehmood Ahmed and Amir Zia, who separately issued the restraining orders to the PTI election commission on February 9, the day the election was scheduled, are to resume hearing today (Thursday) of the original petitions that Malik Nafees and some other contesting candidates had moved challenging the voters list prepared for the party’s first-ever internal election.
Their main counsel advocates Malik Aamir and Saeed Yousaf Khan, while moving the petitions in the two civil courts, contended that the PTI election commission had excluded a number of genuine voters from the voters’ list.
They alleged that the list was bogus and could not be used for free and transparent party elections. They cited the party’s election commission and its members as respondents.
Advocate Khan told Dawn that in holding the party election last Sunday as scheduled the PTI election commission “deliberately defied the courts’ restraining orders”.
Another counsel of the PTI petitioners, Malik Amir, alleged that the party’s election commission had removed “the names of old and hardcore party members from the voters’ list in order to clear the way of their favourite candidates”.
He claimed that court bailiff had served the restraining order on the respondents soon after they were issued. A certified copy of the order was provided to the provincial office of the Election Commission of Pakistan also but they did not receive the orders, he added.
A senior PTI leader, Zahid Hussain Kazmi, agreed that “prima facie the court order has been violated” but added that the party has a tribunal to decide complaints regarding its internal elections.
Rauf Hassan who conducted the PTI’s intra party elections when contacted said that he did not remember any restraining order or any elections detail and asked this reporter to contact after an hour.
But he did not and switched off his mobile phone.