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A party that does not win one seat in the election is not eligible for some seats, Pashaar High Court

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In a significant ruling, the Peshawar High Court has delivered a detailed judgment regarding the allocation of reserved seats, stating that political parties failing to secure any seats in the election are ineligible for reserved seats.

The comprehensive 30-page judgment, authored by Justice SM Atiq Shah, follows a petition concerning the Sunni Ittehad Council’s entitlement to specific seats. Rendered by a five-member larger bench on March 14, the ruling affirms the court’s jurisdiction over matters pertaining to reserved seats within the province.

Addressing the Election Commission’s authority to allocate seats to various political entities in accordance with Article 51 of the Constitution, the court emphasized that the Sunni Ittehad Council is not entitled to reserved seats for women.

Furthermore, the judgment clarifies that submission of lists for specific seats beyond the stipulated timeframe is impermissible. Dismissing objections raised by the petitioner regarding the distribution of reserved seats to other political parties, the court affirmed that the Sunni Ittehad Council lacked eligibility for such seats, leading to the rejection of their application.

In a pivotal pronouncement, the court underscored that political parties must secure at least one seat in the general election to qualify for certain seats. It emphasized that these seats rightfully belong to parties that actively participated in the electoral process, thereby upholding the constitutional mandate to fill all provincial and national assembly seats.

Regarding objections raised by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) asserting the exclusivity of reserved seats, the court ruled such claims unconstitutional. It upheld the Election Commission’s role in distributing specific seats in adherence to constitutional provisions.

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