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Monday May 27, 2024

Reserved seats: PHC directs KP Assembly speaker to administer oath

The bench also directed the speaker to allow the MPAs in question to cast their ballots in the Senate election slated for April 2

By Amjad Safi
March 28, 2024
A general view of the Peshawar High Court. — PPI/File
A general view of the Peshawar High Court. — PPI/File

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday directed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Babar Saleem Swati to administer the oath to lawmakers elected on the reserved seats.

A two-member bench comprising Justice SM Attique Shah and Justice Shakeel Ahmad directed the speaker to ensure that the MPAs in question cast their votes in the Senate election slated for April 2. The writ petitions were filed by the newly elected MPAs from the Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl on reserved seats in the provincial assembly.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Advocate General Shah Faisal Utmankhel, Speaker’s lawyer Ali Azeem Afridi Advocate, Additional Attorney General Sanaullah, lawyers for the petitioners Aamir Javed, Farooq Afridi and Tariq Afridi appeared in the court. The bench directed the speaker to register the MPAs as members of the provincial assembly.

Issuing a two-page short order, the bench said that taking the oath was a constitutional requirement and this should be ensured. The bench said that all the writ petitions are hereby accepted for a hearing. Justice Shakeel Ahmad remarked that it was an irony that a political party acted in one way when it was in power while it acted in another way when it sat on the opposition benches. Justice SM Attique Shah said the Constitution had been mocked in the country as everyone used it for their own purposes “but we are sitting here for the supremacy of the Constitution”.

Earlier, when the hearing of the case started, Justice SM Attique Shah asked whether the speaker was refusing to administer the oath. KP Assembly Speaker Babar Saleem Swati’s lawyer replied in the negative.

After hearing the arguments, the bench directed the speaker of KP Assembly to administer the oath to the MPAs elected on the reserved seats and register them as members of the provincial legislature. The bench said that it was the constitutional right of MPAs to be administered oath, therefore, the speaker should fulfil his constitutional obligation.

The bench also directed the speaker to allow the MPAs in question to cast their ballots in the Senate election slated for April 2.