The appeal regarding the bat order

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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By Justice Markandey Katju

A bench of the Pakistan Supreme Court presided over by the Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa is hearing an appeal against an order of the Peshawar High Court which had set aside an order of the Election Commission of Pakistan ( ECP ) denying the bat symbol to former Prime Minister Imran Khan's PTI ( Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party ).
The appeal regarding the bat order

The appeal has been filed by the ECP, and hence it should have been dismissed outright in 5 minutes by the Supreme Court on the short ground that it was not maintainable, as the ECP had no locus standi in the matter.

It is well settled in law, and there are a plethora of rulings of courts on the point, that only an aggrieved party can file an appeal. The ECP is certainly not an aggrieved party simply because its order was set aside by the High Court. Having passed its order, the ECP was functus officio ( so far as this matter was concerned ), and had no further personal interest in the matter. Hence it could not be said to be an aggrieved person just because its order was set aside by the High Court

To give an illustration, suppose a High Court sets aside an order of a district court. Can the district court challenge the High Court verdict in the Supreme Court ? Certainly not. It has no personal interest in the matter, and can by no stretch of imagination said to be a person aggrieved. It is only the litigant who is aggrieved by the verdict of the High Court who can appeal to the Supreme Court.

It seems Qazi Faez Isa and the other two Judges on the bench of the Supreme Court do not know this elementary principle of law, and heard the appeal the whole day, often making irrelevant and frivolous observations, and wasting time.

The case has been adjourned for tomorrow morning, and I hope the counsels for the PTI press this fundamental point and well settled principle, and support it with the hundreds of rulings of courts worldwide.

(Justice Katju is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. These are his personal views.)

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