Plea filed in SC for secret ballot on reserved seats
02 March, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Christian community Julius Salik on Friday filed a petition in the Supreme Court for secret balloting on reserved seats for women and minorities.
Salik has requested that election on the reserve seats of women and non-Muslims in the National Assembly and provincial assemblies be conducted through secret ballot under Article 226 of the constitution. There are 60 reserved seats for women in the National Assembly and 128 in the provincial assemblies, while non-Muslims have 10 reserved seats in the National Assembly and 23 in the provincial assemblies.
Salik, Advocate Nadir Ali Siddiqui and Raja Shujaat Ali Abbasi have filed the petition under Article 184(3) of the constitution, making the federation through the Election Commission of Pakistan secretary, ECP through its chairman, Ministry of Law and Justice secretary, Senate chairman and National Assembly speaker as respondents.
The petitioners have contended that reserved seats for women and non-Muslims go against the essence of democracy. They argued that the respondents are violating provisions of Article 4 of the constitution, as the petitioner Julius Salik had been deprived of the chance to contest election on minorities seat as an independent candidate.
They also contended that the provision of Article 226 of the constitution needed strict compliance and immediate enforcement. According to the Article 226, all elections under the constitution, other than those for the prime minister and the chief ministers, shall be by conducted through secret ballot.