CJP Isa And Justice Muneeb In Heated Debate Over SIC’s Reserved Seats

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ISLAMABAD: During the Supreme Court hearing of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) reserved seats case, presided over by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, an unpleasant exchange occurred between Chief Justice Isa and Justice Muneeb Akhtar.

During the proceedings, Chief Justice Isa remarked that the court was there to listen and make a decision, referencing a previous court appearance where he stated that if a decision had already been made, he would withdraw his case. He emphasized the importance of presenting arguments to understand what needs to be written from each side’s perspective. Addressing lawyer Faisal Siddiqui, he said, “We are here to listen to you.”

In response, Justice Muneeb Akhtar called the statement irresponsible, asserting that every judge in a full court has the right to ask questions. Chief Justice Isa then asked Faisal Siddiqui to proceed, explaining that his earlier comment was made in a light-hearted manner. Justice Akhtar, however, insisted that such an irresponsible statement could not be accepted.

During the hearing of the Sunni Ittehad Council’s reserved seats case, Justice Muneeb Akhtar remarked that according to the notification, the Sunni Ittehad Council did not win any seats in the elections. He questioned the logic behind the Election Commission’s orders, pointing out that the Election Commission simultaneously stated that the Sunni Ittehad Council did not contest the elections but also recognized it as a parliamentary party. He noted that if the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had already joined the council, this would explain its status as a parliamentary party.

Justice Athar Minallah observed that if the Sunni Ittehad Council had made a mistake, the Election Commission could correct it. Justice Jamal Mandokhail added that if such a correction were made, the seats would go to PTI, not the Sunni Ittehad Council. Justice Minallah further stated that the public should never be excluded from the electoral process, while Justice Mandokhail emphasized that the people had voted for candidates nominated by political parties, not independents.

 

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