IHC Issues notices to ECP and PML(N) in the matter of deferring notification of PTI members for reserved of Womens
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
The petition filed by PTI for the notification of members of Punjab Assembly against reserved seats for women and minority through Senator & Barrister Syed Ali Zafar was heard today by Mr. Justice Aamir Farooq of the Islamabad High Court, Islamabad.
Barrister Zafar submitted that the elections of the Chief Minister Punjab were held on 16/04/2022 in which amongst others 5 members of PTI in Punjab Assembly against reserved seats for women and minority voted against the party directions in favor of Hamza Shahbaz instead of Ch. Parvez Ellahi, and, consequently, were de-seated through an order of ECP dated 20/05/2022.
Barrister Zafar submitted that under Article 224(6) of the Constitution, when a seat reserved for women or non-Muslims in a Provincial Assembly falls vacant, it is to be filled in by the next person in order of precedence from the party list of candidates by the political party whose members have vacated such seat. Relying on this Article 224(6) of the Constitution as well as Section 104(5) of the Elections Act, 2017, Barrister Zafar submitted that PTI had given a party list immediately after the General Elections 2018 to the ECP and now ECP was bound to issue the notification of PTI’s Batool Zain, Saira Raza and Fouzia Abbas Naseem against reserved seats for women as they were the next in the order of precedence in the PTI’s list. According to Mr. Zafar ECP was only to conduct an administrative and mechanical process and notify Batool Zain etc. but the ECP instead on 02/06/2022 passed an order stating that the notification of the members on the reserved seats will be deferred till the election of 20 seats in the general elections which fell vacant because of the defection under Article 63A of the Constitution.
Barrister Zafar argued that by virtue of this order, ECP has amended the Constitution and made Article 224 redundant which ECP is not entitled to and, hence, the order is illegal. He submitted that the order of ECP is hence without jurisdiction under the law and contrary to the Constitution as there is no provision under the law in which ECP can stop or suspend the operation of Article 224.
The Court after hearing the arguments of the learned counsel issued notices to ECP as well as PML(N) and in view of the urgency of the matter fixed the next date of hearing for Tuesday i.e. 21st June, 2022.