Sunday July 14, 2024

Verdict on SIC reserved seats case likely today

CJP convened special session of 13 judges who were part of the Full Court that had reserved judgement

By Sohail Khan
July 11, 2024
An outside view of the Supreme Courts building. — Supreme Court/file
An outside view of the Supreme Court's building. — Supreme Court/file 

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court is likely to announce today (Thursday) the judgement pertaining to the reserved seats of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC).

A consultative meeting of 13-member full bench, chaired by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, was held here in the Supreme Court to deliberate over the order to be announced in the case.

It was learnt that the CJP had convened a special session of 13 judges who were part of the Full Court that had reserved the judgement the other day over the SIC appeal challenging the verdict of Peshawar High Court, denying the party reserved seats for women and minorities in the National and provincial assemblies.

The 13-member Full Court headed by Justice Isa had held extensive hearings in the SIC’s appeal wherein both the parties, including counsels for SIC, Election Commission of Pakistan and attorney general, argued before the court in detail highlighting the provisions of the Constitution as well as relevant sections of the Election Act 2017 with particular reference to reserved seats.

Other members of the Full Court are Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha Malik, Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Hasan Azhar Rizvi, Justice Shahid Waheed, Justice Irfan Saadat Khan and Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan.

Legal circles are of the view that the case is one of the most complex cases that ever came before the country’s highest court involving the interpretation of Article 51 (6) and (d) that specifically relates to reserved seats.

A senior lawyer of the Supreme Court, requesting not be named, said that the consultative session held by the 13 judges was a good sign as it shows deliberations were being held over the judgement to be announced in the SIC appeal as the matter was of great importance. He added in view of the complexity of the case and interpretation of Article 51(6) (d), it was necessary to hold such deliberations.

In the past, this practice was also made by former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as he used to make discussion with fellow judges who were on the bench before announcing verdict, the lawyer told The News.