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Supreme Court is set to resume hearings in reserved seats case

A full-court bench of the Supreme Court convened on Monday to resume hearing the appeal brought by the Sunni Ittehad Council regarding reserved seats.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa presided over the bench, which includes Justices Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Munib Akhtar, Yahya Afridi, Aminuddin Khan, Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Ayesha Malik, Athar Minallah, Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, Shahid Waheed, Irfan Saadat Khan, and Naeem Akhtar Afghan.

The proceedings commenced at 11:30 am and were broadcast live. The court session focused on submissions by Sikander Bashir, representing the Election Commission of Pakistan. Bashir presented arguments continuing from previous hearings.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf filed an application to intervene in the case as a party of interest. PTI’s involvement underscores its stance on the allocation of reserved seats, a contentious issue since the general election.

The SIC contested the ECP’s decision to deny them reserved seats for women and minorities in the National and provincial assemblies following the election. This decision was initially upheld by the Peshawar High Court, prompting the SIC’s appeal to the Supreme Court for review.

During the February 8 election, PTI-supported independent candidates aligned with the SIC after being denied their preferred election symbol. This political maneuver added complexity to the ongoing legal dispute over reserved seats.

The case has drawn significant attention due to its implications for electoral representation and the interpretation of electoral laws. The Supreme Court’s deliberations are closely watched as they navigate the intersection of constitutional rights, electoral regulations, and political dynamics shaping Pakistan’s governance.

As the hearing progresses, stakeholders await further developments that could impact future elections and the interpretation of reserved seat allocations mandated under Pakistani law.

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