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Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa on Monday said the independents backed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had committed suicide by merging with the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC).

His remarks came as a full bench of the Supreme Court resumed on Monday the hearing of the SIC plea against the denial of reserved seats in assemblies for women and minorities.

The full court comprising CJP Qazi Faez Isa, Justices Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Munib Akhtar, Yahya Afridi, Aminuddin Khan, Mandokhail, Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Ayesha Malik, Athar Minallah, Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, Shahid Waheed, Irfan Saadat Khan and Naeem Akhtar Afghan resumed hearing the case.

SC suspends PHC verdict denying SIC reserved seats

During the hearing, CJP asked Faisal Siddiqui, senior counsel representing the SIC, why the PTI-backed independents hadn’t joined PTI itself when it was still a political party.

“Didn’t you (PTI) commit suicide yourself?” the chief justice asked.

Meanwhile, Justice Mandokhail wondered if a party that did not bother to contest the elections should be given reserved seats rather than those that did.

Justice Minallah noted that the ECP had confused the entire matter by declaring that the PTI was no more a political party as its symbol was taken away.

“Yet they recognised PTI as an enlisted political party,” he added.

“PTI continued to exist as a political party after the decision, continues to exist today. Then why did these independents not join PTI?

Didn’t you (PTI) commit suicide yourself?“ the CJP asked Faisal Siddiqui, a senior counsel representing the SIC.

The top court adjourned the hearing of the case till tomorrow (Tuesday).

Earlier, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has stated that the conditions in Article 3 of the Constitution Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) are violative of Articles 17, 20 and 25 of 1973 Constitution therefore it is not entitled to any reserved seats for women and in particular for non-Muslims.

The ECP filed reply on the SIC appeal before the SC against the judgment of the Peshawar High Court.

The ECP reply stated that there is no lawful basis, in the facts and circumstances of the titled appeal for any reserved seats for women or non-Muslim to be left vacant.

The constitution does not envisage nor permit this. The said seats have been allotted by the ECP as per the constitution and the Elections Act.

The SIC is the new home to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-backed independent candidates. The ruling coalition has 224 seats in NA, which gives it a two-third majority in 336-seat NA. As many as 21 of the 25 SIC reserved seats were allotted to ruling coalition in a highly controversial decision issued by ECP this March that attracted strong public backlash.

The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) got 16 of SIC reserved seats and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) got five of those seats.

If these seats are reallocated to SIC, the ruling coalition’s strength would be reduced to 203 seats, depriving it of two-third majority in NA.

In March, a five-member bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja had 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 was not entitled to reserved seats.

Comments

200 characters
Toy Soldier Jun 24, 2024 02:34pm
These honourable munsifs will do the bidding of the real powers.
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KU Jun 24, 2024 03:13pm
A democracy by the people, for the people but ECP denies rights of people. Our corrupt system only selects cartels who make wealth n ignore people/country. How can anyone hope for better economy?
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Chaman lal Jun 24, 2024 10:00pm
City islamkot district tharparkar
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KU Jun 25, 2024 12:21am
PTI was actually pushed to suicide when its party symbol was taken away from it, and someone was the abettor. But then, its just another sad chapter in history of our country, aka a Pakistani story!
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