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Tuesday April 23, 2024

PHC restores Sadaf Ihsan as MNA

Court declared null and void the action taken by the ECP, which had suspended the notification about Sadaf Ihsan’s nomination as MNA

By Bureau report
April 03, 2024
A lawyer walks past in front of the Peshawar High Court building. — AFP/File
A lawyer walks past in front of the Peshawar High Court building. — AFP/File

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday nullified the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) decision to suspend the notification on the election of Sadaf Ihsan as Member of National Assembly from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl on the seats reserved for women.

The two-member bench comprising Justice SM Attique Shah and Justice Syed Arshad Ali Shah heard the petition of the woman lawmaker elected on the reserved seat in the National Assembly from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The court declared null and void the action taken by the ECP, which had suspended the notification about Sadaf Ihsan’s nomination as MNA.

Lawyers, including Ishaq Shah, and Farhan Tariq appeared for the petitioner. Mohsin Kamran appeared on behalf of the election commission.

At the start of the hearing, Justice SM Attique Shah asked the lawyer of the election commission whether he had submitted the original record of the case to the court. He replied in the affirmative and told the court that the first and second priority lists did not carry her CNIC number and father’s name.

The lawyer for Sadaf Ihsan told the court that the priority list carried all the details, including her name, but it was mistakenly mentioned as Sadaf Yasmin.

He said that Yasmin was her mother’s name and the correction was made during the scrutiny of the nomination papers.

The ECP had issued a notification about her election as an MNA on March 4, but the notification was suspended after the complaint of the JUIF chief on March 11. Her lawyer told the court that once the ECP issued the notification about her election as MNA, then the electoral watchdog did not have the authority to suspend her and the election tribunal was the relevant forum to challenge her election.

Interestingly, another woman from the JUIF, Hina Bibi, had moved the ECP claiming that her name was mentioned in the priority list. Sadaf Ihsan had been elected to the assembly on the reserved seats and ECP had notified her election as well but the ECP stopped her from taking oath after receiving an application from Hina Bibi. However, her lawyer contended that a person once elected on the reserved seats could not be replaced. He requested the court to stop the ECP from taking any action and allow his petitioner to take the oath of office. It is worth mentioning here that Hina Bibi was in the third position on the priority list submitted by the JUIF to ECP.