ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Peshawar High Court's decision in a suo moto case regarding bye-elections in NA-5, Nowshera, and NA-27, Lakki Marwat, where women voters were not allowed to cast their votes in some areas.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali took up the petition moved by PTI's Dr Imran Khattak against the use of suo moto by the high court against restraining the female voters from casting their votes in the respective constituencies during the August 22 by-elections.

The overturning of the high court's order means that Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will be free to notify the names of those candidates who won the elections from the respective constituencies during the by-elections, said Advocate Athar Minallah while talking to media persons.

Both the seats were bagged by the candidates fielded by Pakistan Tehrik Insaf (PTI). Dr Imran Khattak had won the seat from the NA-5 Nowshera as well as Col (Retd) Amirullah Marwat from NA-27.

Earlier the ECP had ordered re-polling on both the constituencies on the orders of the high court. The apex court decided the matter after converting the petition into an appeal and directed those aggrieved with any of the orders in this regard to approach ECP for the redressal of grievance if any.

Advocate Athar Minallah representing the petitioner argued that the high court had taken up the suo moto over a complaint that women were not allowed to take part in the by-elections in NA-5 when under Articles 184(3) and 199 of the constitution, the high court had no jurisdiction to take suo moto on the issue. Minallah maintained that if an aggrieved person would have filed a petition in this regard, the high court could have taken the notice on the issue.

He also referred to NA-32 Upper Dir and questioned why PHC failed to take notice in Upper Dir where only one woman cast her vote out of total registered female votes 138,910. The same was the case with PK-70 Bannu, he regretted.