IHC sets aside LHC ruling on reserved seat row


Overstepping Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi Bench’s decision, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday decided to take on a case filed by the Jamiat Ulemae Islam- Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F) chief, seeking a reserved seat of National Assembly from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has pled for a reserved seat in the National Assembly from KPK according to the ratio of reserved seats.
He alleged that his party was deprived of a reserved seat in the quota of reserved seats in the provincial assembly according to the formula used to calculate reserved seats. Last year LHCRB had directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to recalculate the seats and decide the matter within one month. However, despite the lapse of almost eight months nothing had happened.
On Thursday, a divisional bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice Iqbal Hammedur Rehman and Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan resumed the hearing of the case. JUI-F Counsel Kamran Murtaza contended that JUI-F Candidate Naeema Kausar deserved to be nominated on the said seat as MNA, but ECP was reluctant to notify her.
He said that instead of notifying Naeema the ECP notified PPP’s Farhat Begum and Awami National Party (ANP)’s Khurshid Begum on the said seat.
Senator Waseem Sajjad appeared before the court to defend Khurshid and Farhat’s notifications. After hearing arguments from both sides the court set aside the LHCRB’s decision and decreed the IHC to handle the case.
JUI-F had first filed an application for re-calculation in the ECP from where it had gone to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) after the 2008 General Elections. However, the petition was taken up by the LHCRB on the dissolution of IHC and was now once again taken up by the IHC.