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Tuesday May 21, 2024

PHC detailed judgment: MPAs elected on reserved seats have right to oath

Court also directed the speaker of the KP Assembly to carry out his constitutional responsibilities and administer oath to the MPAs concerned

By Bureau report
April 20, 2024
A police official stands guard outside the Peshawar High Court (PHC) in this file photo. — APP/File
A police official stands guard outside the Peshawar High Court (PHC) in this file photo. — APP/File

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) directed the chief minister and the provincial cabinet to summon the session of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly within 14 days so that the lawmakers elected on the reserved seats for women and non-Muslims could be sworn in.

Issuing the detailed judgment written by Justice SM Attique Shah, the PHC also directed the government to make arrangements for the swearing-in of the lawmakers elected on the reserved seats of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly as they could not be deprived of their due right.

The court also directed the speaker of the KP Assembly to carry out his constitutional responsibilities and administer oath to the MPAs concerned. The writ petition had been filed by Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl women and minority lawmakers.

The petitioners, including Shazia Tehmas Khan and 19 other MPAs had requested the court to declare illegal and unconstitutional the failure of the speaker and deputy speaker to call the assembly`s sitting to administer oath to them.

They were represented by Barrister Aamir Javed, Farooq Afridi and Barrister Saqib Raza. Advocate General Shah Faisal Utmankhel appeared on behalf of the provincial government.

Additional Attorney General Sanaullah and the Election Commission of Pakistan’s Law Officer Samreen Jahangir also appeared before the court.

A two-member bench consisting of Justice SM Attique Shah and Justice Shakeel Ahmad had taken up the petition for hearing and released a short order on March 27 wherein the bench had directed the speaker of the KP Assembly to administer oath to the petitioners and allow them to sign the Roll of Members.

The bench had directed the speaker to facilitate the petitioners so that they could cast their votes in the Senate Election that was held on April 2.

According to the detailed verdict, under the Constitution, a constituency cannot remain vacant for an indefinite period be it a woman or minority reserved seat. It said that the Constitution called for completing the numerical strength of the Parliament so that the legislation could be carried out in a better manner.