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Peshawar High Court Halts Oath-Taking for Lawmakers on Reserved Seats

In a recent development reported by Geo News, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) has intervened to halt the oath-taking of lawmakers who were notified on reserved seats, particularly those denied to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC).

During the hearing presided over by Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim and Justice Shakeel Ahmad, the PHC issued directives to prevent the swearing-in of members and ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to submit its response by Thursday.

This decision follows the rejection of the SIC’s plea by the ECP on Monday, wherein the party’s claim for reserved seats was dismissed. The ECP cited “non-curable procedural and legal defects” and violations of constitutional provisions as reasons for denying the SIC’s request.

The reserved seats were subsequently allocated to other political parties based on their representation in the assemblies, excluding the PTI-backed SIC. The allocation of reserved seats has resulted in Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and its allies securing a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly.

During today’s hearing, the petitioner’s lawyer underscored the constitutional provisions governing the allocation of reserved seats and emphasized that PTI-backed independent candidates had joined the SIC within the stipulated deadline. The lawyer expressed disappointment over the ECP’s decision to allocate the reserved seats to other parties, asserting that the seats were rightfully theirs.

In response, the court referred the case to the PHC chief justice for the formation of a larger bench to address the matter comprehensively. The attorney general and the advocate general were notified to assist the court in the proceedings.

The PHC’s intervention underscores the legal complexities surrounding the allocation of reserved seats and highlights the significance of adherence to constitutional provisions in electoral processes. As the case progresses, it remains subject to further legal scrutiny and deliberation to ensure fairness and transparency in the allocation of parliamentary seats.

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