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SC full court likely to announce verdict on reserved seats case tomorrow

A full court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa which reserved the verdict after lengthy arguments is expected to deliver the judgement on the matter by tomorrow



SC full court likely to announce verdict on reserved seats case tomorrow
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Islamabad:  The Supreme Court (SC) full court is expected to announce its verdict on the plea of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) seeking reserved seats in the National Assembly on Thursday (tomorrow).

A full court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa would announce the verdict.

The development took place after an important meeting of all judges of the top court at the Supreme Court earlier in the day.

A day earlier, a SC full court reserved the verdict on the reserved seats case after the both sides completed their arguments. Chief Justice of Pakistan was heading the full court bench. 

The bench also included Justices Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Muneeb Akhtar, Yahya Afridi, Amin-ud-Din Khan, Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Athar Minallah, Syed Hassan Azhar Rizvi, Ayesha Malik, Shahid Waheed, Irfan Saadat Khan and Naeem Akhtar Afghan.

The issue regarding the reserved seats emerged following the February 8 elections, where independent candidates supported by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won and later joined the SIC, aiming to claim seats reserved for minorities and women.

However, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) denied these seats to the SIC, citing the party’s failure to submit a list of candidates. This decision was upheld by the Peshawar High Court (PHC) when the SIC challenged it.

Seeking to overturn the PHC’s decision, the SIC approached the Supreme Court, requesting the allocation of 67 seats for women and 11 for minorities in the assemblies.

The allocation of these reserved seats is crucial, as PTI-backed independent candidates, who dominate the opposition benches, lost 77 reserved seats in the National Assembly and provincial assemblies due to the PHC’s verdict.

The PTI also filed a petition to be included in the case, arguing that both the party and the SIC were ready to provide the candidate list but were not permitted to do so.

Both the federal government and the ECP have opposed the SIC’s plea. In its submission to the court, represented by Attorney General of Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan, the government argued that reserved seats for minorities and women should only be allocated to political parties that contested the elections, won at least one seat, and submitted a candidate list according to the law.

The ECP echoed this stance, emphasizing that the SIC was ineligible for the reserved seats because it missed the January 24 deadline to submit its candidate list.

Additionally, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) submitted written arguments, asserting that the SIC did not qualify for the reserved seats since it neither contested the February 8 elections nor provided the required candidate list. The PML-N also pointed out that the SIC did not win any seats, which is a prerequisite for qualifying for reserved seats.

"None of the SIC members contesting for the reserved seats filed their nomination papers, let alone met the mandatory requirement of submitting the list," the PML-N’s written submission stated.