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CJP Qazi Faez Isa says apex court did not ask PTI not to hold intra-party polls

Justice Muneeb questions logic behind ECP declaring PTI candidates 'independent'; Judge says despite losing election symbol, PTI candidates will be deemed to be that of party; Justice Minallah opines voters are real stakeholders; court adjourns hearing of SIC’s reserved seats case until June 24

By News Desk

June 4, 2024 12:58 PM


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Justice Muneeb Akhtar of the Supreme Court (SC) said on Tuesday that when newly elected members of assemblies would take the oath, a parliamentary party would come into being, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

During the hearing of Sunni Ittehad Council’s (SIC) reserved seats case, Justice Athar Minallah asked whether the existence of a parliamentary party was possible even if it was not a political party.

A 13-member full-court bench of the SC, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Qazi Faez Isa, heard the case.

Justice Jamal Mandokhel remarked that an independent candidate was the one who did not belong to any party.

Justice Muneeb said that an apex court’s decision had preceded the allotment of an election symbol.

The judge said that those who had joined the SIC after getting elected had shown themselves PTI candidates in their nomination papers they submitted before the elections. “They were recognized as PTI candidates and got elected,” he said, adding he did not understand under which of its rules, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) could declare PTI candidates ‘independent’.

Regardless of the fact, he went on to say, that the PTI had lost its election symbol, but the party’s candidates would be deemed to be that of the party.

Justice Mandokhel said that was what he was trying to make people understand since yesterday.

Justice Muneeb said it would be better if the court focused merely on a political party and the case.

SIC’s lawyer Faisal Siddiqui Advocate said there was a difference between a political party and a parliamentary party.

“Does the constitution recognize this difference?” the CJP questioned.

Siddiqui informed that Article 63-A shed light on that.  

“What was your status before the February 8 elections?” Justice Isa asked.

“Prior to that, we were a political party,” SIC’s lawyer said, adding, “But when independent candidates joined us, the SIC became a parliamentary party.”

Justice Minallah was of the view that whichever party having a representation in the legislature, was a parliamentary party.

Justice Ayesha Malik asked on what basis the election commission had said that the PTI candidates were ‘independent’.

Justice Muneeb opined that depriving a party of its election symbol was the root cause of the dispute. “The SC had upheld its decision of snatching symbol from the PTI,” he added.

Advocate Siddiqui said that Salman Akram Raja had filed an application in the ECP in which he requested that he be recognized as a PTI candidate. “But the election commission turned own his request,” he recalled.

Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar said that the SC, while giving its decision in the PTI’s intra-party elections case, had said that if dispute arose over the reserved seats, the court would look into it.

The chief justice remarked that the apex court did not ask the PTI not to hold intra-party elections. “Had intra-party elections been held, all issues would have been resolved.”

Justice Minallah was of the view that the real stakeholders in the case were the voters, who were not presently in the picture.

He said that the PTI had been constantly complaining that it was not provided a level playing field.

Justice Isa said that complaint was not before the court to address.

Justice Minallah, however, reminded the CJP that the SC was the guardian of basic human rights. “We ought to have made sure how voters’ rights could be protected,” he said, and added that one of the political parties had a reservation that it was not being allowed to run its election campaign. “And that was not for the first time,” the judge reminded.

Later the court adjourned the case’s hearing until June 24.

 

Reporter: Amanat Gishkori

 

 

 

 

Later the court adjourned the case’s hearing until June 24.

  

 

 

 


News Desk


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