CJP Isa Says PTI Committed Suicide By Merging With SIC

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CJP Isa says PTI committed suicide by merging with SIC

The top judge criticizes PTI for attempting to delay elections by filing a petition in the Lahore High Court, despite being given an election date.

ISLAMABAD: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-June 24th, 2024) Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa on Monday questioned why Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) aligned itself with the SIC during a hearing regarding the reserved seat case involving the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC).

The Supreme Court (SC), led by CJP Isa, is reviewing the SIC's appeal against a Peshawar High Court decision on reserved seats.

CJP Isa criticized PTI for attempting to delay elections by filing a petition in the Lahore High Court, despite being given an election date. He highlighted that a three-member SC bench had previously failed to conduct elections and noted that PTI's leader, Imran Khan, had not held intra-party elections.

CJP Isa emphasized the constitutional clarity on reserved seats, stating that no judge can deviate from the constitution. He remarked that laws must be followed consistently. Addressing PTI's alignment with SIC, CJP Isa asked, "If PTI is still a political party, why did you effectively dissolve your identity by joining another party?"

SIC's lawyer, Faisal Siddiqui, argued that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) misinterpreted the constitution. The Chief Justice requested an explanation on how the SIC could legally obtain reserved seats. Justice Jamal Mandukhel questioned the rationale behind awarding reserved seats to those who did not contest elections, while Justice Irfan Saadat pointed out that SIC’s argument undermines the constitutional provisions, as SIC is not recognized as a political party.

On June 22, the ECP informed the Supreme Court that SIC is not eligible for reserved seats, stating that SIC failed to submit the list of nominees by the December 24 deadline and that independent candidates joined SIC post-elections.

The ECP's 4-1 decision to deny reserved seats to SIC was upheld by the Peshawar High Court (PHC). The ECP maintained that the inclusion of non-Muslims is prohibited in SIC’s constitution, which is unconstitutional.

On May 6, the Supreme Court suspended the ECP and PHC's verdicts on SIC's reserved seats. A three-member bench led by Justice Mansoor Ali Shah suspended the decisions regarding the allocation of reserved seats to other political parties.

The ECP had allocated reserved seats for women and minorities among various political parties. In the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, seats were given to Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Pakistan, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

In the Sindh Assembly, seats were allocated to Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and PPP, with additional minority seats assigned to PPP, PML-N, and JUI-F, all contested by SIC.

Abdullah Hussain

Abdullah Hussain is a staff member who writes on politics, human rights, social issues and climate change.