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Friday June 21, 2024

Denying oath to reserved seats MPAs: PHC puts KP Assembly speaker, deputy speaker, ECP on notice

The counsel said that it was the obligation of the KP Assembly speaker to take oaths from these members as enshrined in the constitution

By Amjad Safi
March 23, 2024
Newly elected members take oath at the provincial legislature of Pakistans Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly in Peshawar on February 28, 2024. — INP
Newly elected members take oath at the provincial legislature of Pakistans Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly in Peshawar on February 28, 2024. — INP

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Friday put on notice the speaker and deputy speaker of the KP Assembly along with the Election Commission of Commission (ECP) for not taking oath from the legislators elected on reserved seats and sought a reply by March 26.

Shazia Tehmas of Pakistan Peoples Party and others had filed the petition through Saqib Raza Advocate. She is among the lawmakers elected to the provincial assembly on reserved seats.

A two-member bench of the PHC consisting of Justice Shakeel Ahmad and Justice Sahibzada Asadullah heard the petition.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the ECP had issued the list of the members elected to the KP Assembly on the reserved seats. He added that the writ petitions filed by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) to claim the reserved seats had already been rejected by the courts.

The counsel said that it was the obligation of the KP Assembly speaker to take oaths from these members as enshrined in the constitution.

Saqib Raza Advocate said the notification of the victory of the assembly members had been issued but the KP Assembly session was not being called to take oath from the MPAs elected on reserved seats.

He said it was the constitutional responsibility of the speaker to call the session and take oath from them. The counsel said the oath-taking was a must as the Senate elections were slated for April 2.

The counsel Governor Ghulam Ali had summoned the KP Assembly session on March 22 under Article 109 of the Constitution.

Justice Shakeel Ahmad asked the counsel if the assembly session was being held today (Friday).

Saqib Raza Advocate said the KP Assembly Secretariat had said in a press release that the session was not being convened.

Justice Shakeel remarked that the law should remain supreme and political issues should be resolved through political means.

He said it becomes lamentable when we draw our comparison with neighbouring countries to know the standing.

“What is the state of the economy of the country? Things would get tougher in the future if we look at the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund”, observed the judge.

Justice Shakeel said the attitude of a political party changed when it was not in the government. He recalled that a larger bench of the PHC had already decided the case of the reserved seats.