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Reserved Seats Case: Imran as PM was influencing ECP: CJP

The ECP said in its submitted written response that despite the deadline of December 24, the SIC did not submit the lists of reserved seats



Reserved Seats Case: Imran as PM was influencing ECP: CJP
Reserved Seats Case: Imran as PM was influencing ECP: CJP

Islamabad: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa, during the hearing in the Supreme Court on the petition related to the reserved seats of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), remarked that Imran Khan as the Prime Minister was also influencing the Election Commission.

A 13-member full court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa is conducting the hearing. The SIC lawyer Faisal Siddiqui is giving arguments in court.

During the hearing, SIC lawyer Faisal Siddiqui said that the judgments emphasised the compatibility of constitutional interpretation with natural limits. Three important points must be mentioned in Articles 51 and 106. Independent candidates can join any political party, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has wrongly interpreted the political party and ignored the constitution regarding reserved seats.

On this, Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa remarked that if the decision of the Election Commission is wrong, then you should explain the constitution correctly, leave the ECP, and speak for yourself. Explain according to the constitution and the law how the SIC can get reserved. Why should we ignore the natural meaning of the Constitution?

The lawyer replied that the real issue was the purpose of the constitutional clauses. Justice Jamal Mandukhel asked why should the reserved seats be given to those who did not even bother to contest the election. Justice Irfan Saadat said that according to your arguments, the words given in the constitution will be ineffective, SIC is not a political party.

On this, Justice Athar Minullah said that PTI is not a real political party after the election symbol is withdrawn, but it is a unlisted political party. The Election Commission has declared it as an unlisted party.

The Chief Justice inquired that if PTI is still a political party then why did they join another party. If this argument is accepted as correct, then why did you commit suicide by joining another party. This is against your own arguments.

Justice Shahid Waheed said that read Clause-2 of Rule-92 of the ECP. Justice Muneeb Akhtar said that the Election Commission declared the independent candidate, ECPs’ opinion does not apply to us. Political parties are the basis of parliamentary democracy. The Election Commission declared PTI candidates as independent candidates due to the Supreme Court's decision, which is a very dangerous interpretation.

Justice Aminuddin Khan stated that all the candidates were from PTI, the facts are contradictory. Why were the certificates of PTI Nazriyati withdrawn after submission?

Chief Justice Qazi added that we will not hear that the ECP abused PTI, we will hear according to the constitution and law.

He spoke to Faisal Siddiqui that he is a lawyer of the SIC, not PTI. Your argument in favor of PTI comes in a conflict of interest. The electoral symbol was not withdrawn from the SIC, by not following the constitution, this country has been blown away. I have sworn to implement the constitution, we have to look at the constitution and not the interest of any political party or government. We will not see what the ECP did, you guys joined Nazriyati and then SIC and you are only representing the Sunni Ittehad Council.

The lawyer replied that there is no choice for the affected parties in this country. The Chief Justice said that don't talk about politics. There have been great judges in the country who refused to take oath under PCO, talk of the Constitution only.

Lawyer Faisal Siddiqui added that the election symbol was taken away the night before. The Chief Justice again remarked that you are representing the SIC, is it the election symbol of the SIC. The lawyer said that the election symbol of the Sunni Unity Council is a horse.

CJP added that the election symbol of the SIC was not taken. Why did the president who was from PTI not give a date for elections? PTI had tried to stop the elections and filed an application in Lahore High Court (LHC). Imran Khan was the Prime Minister, he did not conduct intra-party elections, do not point such fingers at anyone. It was a three-member bench of the Supreme Court which could not conduct the elections, we had given the date of the elections.

On this, Justice Jamal Mandukhel inquired if the ECP declared the candidates free, why did they not file an appeal. The lawyer said that this question will be answered by Salman Akram Raja, the Chief Justice said that the rules of the constitution cannot be controlled.

The lawyer further argued that Justice Mansoor Ali Shah had said that if 80 percent of the people become independent, so will they give all the reserved seats to the political parties with 10 percent? The Chief Justice told him that yes, this is exactly what the constitution says, no one's will can be followed, and this country has been destroyed because the constitution is not followed. It took oath as per constitution, you can change it in the parliament.

It is pertinent to note that the ECP has submitted its written response, in which it was said that despite the deadline of December 24, the SIC did not submit the lists of reserved seats, however, the candidates sought the certificate for the electoral symbol of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Nazriyati which later the candidates withdrew.

In its reply, the Election Commission said that the candidate was declared independent after PTI Nazriyati withdrew its election symbol and after the election, the independent candidate joined the SIC. On which the ECP gave a four-to-one decision not to give reserved seats to the SIC. The Peshawar High Court (PHC) also upheld the Election Commission's decision on the appeal of the SIC.