Supreme Court’s full bench hears reserve seats case:

The Supreme Court on Monday resumed hearing a plea by the new home of PTI-backed candidates, the Suni Ittehad Council (SIC), against barring women and minorities from participating in assemblies.

The full bench consisted of the following respected judges:

 Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and other esteemed members such as Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha Malik,  Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan, Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Irfan Saadat Khan, and Justice Shahid Waheed.

The Election Commission of Pakistan made a 4-1 decision in March, ruling that the SIC (PTI’s backed candidates) could not claim reserved seats due to legal flaws and failure to submit a mandatory party list.

Members of Imran Khan’s political party, the PTI, were compelled to participate in the February general elections as independent candidates due to the Supreme Court ruling that declared the party’s internal elections were flawed. Consequently, the PTI candidates were prohibited from using the party’s cricket bat symbol during the campaign.

Justice Minallah emphasized that a political party, upon losing its election symbol, forfeits its status as a political party. 

Meanwhile, Justice Mandukhel raised a valid point by questioning the rationale behind allocating special seats to individuals who did not participate in the elections.

The verdict in this case could have far-reaching political implications, potentially influencing the makeup of the National Assembly. Khan’s party is confident about securing 78 reserved seats in Parliament, which were awarded to rival parties in the elections.

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