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The Peshawar High Court (PHC) barred on Wednesday lawmakers on reserved seats from taking oath until Thursday, Aaj News reported.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim and Justice Shakeel Ahmad announced the decision.

The bench took up Sunni Ittehad Council’s (SIC) plea against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision to reject the allocation of reserved seats to the party.

The high court issued a pre-admission notice to the ECP and directed it to submit its response in the case.

Earlier this week, the ECP rejected the SIC’s petition seeking the allocation of reserved seats in the national and provincial assemblies.

The ECP announced the verdict with a 4-1 majority, saying the SIC – the new home to PTI-backed independent candidates – was not entitled to reserved seats.

ECP Punjab member Hassan Bharwana wrote a dissent note.

A five-member bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja, heard the plea.

The bench had reserved its verdict on February 28.

In its decision, the electoral body said the SIC is not entitled to claim quota for reserved seats due to having “non-curable legal defects and violation of a mandatory provision of submission of party list for reserved seats which is the requirement of the law”.

Following the verdict, the PTI said that it would challenge the decision.

Barrister Ali Zafar who is the party’s counsel in the case said that the ECP’s decision is a stab in the back of democracy which the party would challenge in the apex court.

He said that the national and the four provincial assemblies are supposed to elect senators, president, prime minister, and chairman Senate, and incomplete assemblies cannot fulfil these elections.

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