SIC moves SC against PHC’s verdict denying party reserved seats

ISLAMABAD: The Sunni Itehad Council (SIC), comprising PTI-backed lawmakers, challenged on Monday the Peshawar High Court’s March 14 order that deprived the party of reserved seats.

The PHC through its verdict dashed the PTI’s hopes of getting reserved seats as it dismissed the SIC’s petition challenging the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) ruling that denied reserved seats to the party.

Advocate Faisal Siddiqui filed the petition, on behalf of the PTI-backed-SIC, that stated, “It is, therefore, most respectfully and most humbly prayed that leave to appeal against the Impugned Judgment dated: 14-03-2024 passed by the Honourable Peshawar High Court in Writ Petition No.1272-P of 2024, may graciously be granted and after granting leave to appeal, this Honourable Court may graciously set aside the Impugned Judgment dated: 14-03-2024 and allow the Writ Petition No.1272-P of 2024, as prayed.”

The petition states that the PTI candidates joined the SIC after their party lost its electoral symbol, adding that the ECP also raised no objections to the above independent returned candidates joining the SIC.

“The Impugned Judgment is based on a fundamental misconception and misinterpretation of Article 51 as well as Article 106 of Constitution, 1973,” the petition read.

The party has argued, “Firstly, the central basis of the proportionate representation system of allocation of reserved seats for women and non-Muslims under Article 51(6)(d)(e) and Article 106(3)(c) of the Constitution, 1973, is not the political party submitting lists of candidates for reserved seats prior to the general election nor whether the said political party has contested the election but rather the central constitutional basis of the right to reserved seats under the proportional representation system is ‘total number of general seats secured by each political party from the Province concerned in the National Assembly’ or ‘total number of general seats secured by each political party in the Provincial Assembly’.”

PTI loses reserve seats

A five-member bench led by PHC Chief Justice Mohammad Ibrahim Khan and comprising Justice Ijaz Anwar, Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim, Justice Shakeel Ahmad, and Justice Arshad Ali ruled against PTI’s right to reserve seats.

During his arguments, SIC’s lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar said the Constitution does not mention when a party has to submit a list of names for reserved seats to the ECP.

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