| Welcome to Global Village Space

Thursday, May 23, 2024

PHC rejects SIC reserve seats plea: PTI to move SC against decision

He stressed the urgency of the issue, urging the Supreme Court to expedite the hearing by assembling a larger bench.

Barrister Gohar, the Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has unveiled intentions to contest a recent ruling by the Peshawar High Court (PHC) concerning reserved seats within the Supreme Court. Expressing his concerns to the media outside Adiala Jail, he stressed the urgency of the issue, urging the Supreme Court to expedite the hearing by assembling a larger bench.

The Peshawar High Court (PHC) rejected on Thursday a plea from the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) challenging the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to reallocate reserved seats for women and minorities in the National Assembly and provincial legislatures to other parties. In a 4-1 majority verdict, the ECP, on March 4, dashed the PTI-backed SIC’s aspirations for a seat quota, citing “non-curable legal defects” and a breach of mandatory provisions in submitting party lists for reserved seats. The plea was heard by a five-member bench comprised of Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim, Justice Ijaz Anwar, Justice SM Atiq Shah, Justice Shakeel Ahmed, and Justice Syed Arshad Ali.

On January 13, the Supreme Court issued a consequential order declaring PTI’s intra-party elections unlawful, resulting in the party losing its election symbol. Consequently, PTI candidates were compelled to participate in the February 8 general elections as independents, forfeiting the opportunity to claim reserved seats.

PTI counsel put up examples of past 

During today’s hearing, PTI counsel Barrister Ali Zafar highlighted that for the first time in the country’s history, a significant number of independent candidates were successful in a general election. Zafar argued that the SIC was entitled to 78 seats, emphasizing that the party’s claim was confined to the NA and K-P Assembly. He maintained that the SIC deserved 26 reserved seats in K-P and eight in the NA based on its electoral performance in K-P.

Zafar contended that some political parties requested the ECP to allot vacant PTI reserved seats to them, likening it to usurping unclaimed land. Justice Ibrahim noted the PTI counsel’s emphasis on “occupation” despite the ECP’s decision to allocate those seats to other parties.

More to read:Waseem Badami responds to backlash inviting viral sensation Shiraz on show

The PTI counsel argued that a political entity remains a party even if it doesn’t contest elections, citing Article 17. Zafar referenced legal precedents and the case of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) to support his argument.

However, Justice Ali pointed out the disparity between PTI and SIC, emphasizing that reserved seats are allocated only to winning parties. He questioned the eligibility of independents joining a party that hasn’t secured any seats.