LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday admitted a petition for regular hearing, challenging election procedure for women in parliament and Punjab Assembly. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah sought replies from the Election Commission of Pakistan, law secretary and others within two weeks. Petitioner, lawyer Tariq Aziz Malik submitted that there were 188 reserved seats for women in the parliament and provincial assembly. He stated that it was illegal and unconstitutional under article 226 of the Constitution, that states all elections should be held by secret ballot.
The petitioner stated that the reserved seats for women cost a billion rupees in salaries annually to the national exchequer. He said that there was no justification to allocate these seats to women, and instead the same seats could be allocated to technocrats and experts from different fields, who can play a better role in the country’s progress. He submitted that the Supreme Court full bench in 18th amendment judgment had already held these elections on reserved seats as ultra vires of the constitution. He requested to declare the women election on reserved seats as unconstitutional.