LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Wednesday sought reply from the federal government within two weeks on a petition demanding allocation of 50 per cent seats for women in assemblies as per their population in the country and filling of these seats through elections.

Justice Ameenud Din Khan passed the orders on a petition moved by Advocate Javaid Iqbal Jafri.

The petitioner submitted that population of women in the country was about 50 per cent and according to the Islamic injunctions, women deserve to hold 50 per cent seats of the assemblies. It was also a violation of the constitution, he contended, adding presently there were “handpicked women” sitting in the assemblies on reserved seats.

He argued that political leaders are used to nominate their relatives and closed women for the membership on reserved seats in the assemblies.

He submitted the women had to please their party leaders to get the assembly seats and regardless of merit, the leaders get them nominated on the reserved seats. This system of nominating women on reserved seats has discouraged the deserving and hardworking women, the counsel added.

He requested the court to declare the system as illegal, directing the government to introduce a mechanism of 50 per cent seats for women through direct election on the votes of women.

The petitioner has made Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the Punjab Secretary Law and MPA Uzma Zahid Bukhari as respondents in the petition.