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P L D 1993 SC 439

ELECTION COMMISSION OF PAKISTAN

V/S

M.P. BHANDRA

Per Nasim Hassan Shah, J.

(a) Constitution of Pakistan (1973), Articles 260(3) (b)  & 51 (2A)
r/w Sansi caste or tribe—-

It is true that the Constitution of 1973 makes a reference to the scheduled castes inasmuch as in clause (3) (b) of Article 260 of the Constitution “Scheduled castes” have been included among “non’Muslims” and in clause (2A) of Article 51 they have been bracketed with Hindus for the purpose of elections to reserved seats. But this Constitution too is silent as to which groups are to be categorised as the scheduled caste. As the term suggests itself, scheduled castes could be the castes that were put in some schedule issued by the appropriate agency but there is no such schedule in existence in Pakistan and there is no provision in the Constitution or any other law enabling issuance of such a schedule. Unless, therefore any one himself claims to be a Hindu or belonging to a “schedule caste” he cannot be placed in the category of “Hindu and scheduled castes”. However, the persons belonging to Sensi caste or tribe, were not given any opportunity to clarify as in which category they would like to be bracketed. It is noteworthy that some of the persons belonging to Sensi caste have converted to Islam. It will, therefore, be unjust and unfair to bracket them with Hindus or other
non-Muslims.[p. 444]A

In our opinion, questions of such importance which affect the faiths, rights and susceptibilities of individuals cannot be disposed of without making the persons concerned as parties to the proceedings and without affording them a hearing.  It was essential to ascertain their point of view before any decision in this regard could be made.[p. 445]B

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