Wednesday, March 14, 2018
ISLAMABAD: A three-member bench of the Supreme Court dismissed on Wednesday Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's petition seeking disqualification of party MNA Ayesha Gulalai.
The PTI chairman had filed a review petition with the apex court against an earlier verdict of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) which ruled that Gulalai would remain a member of the National Assembly from the PTI.
Gulalai had announced to quit the party in early August last year, after levelling allegations of harassment and corruption against the PTI chief.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar was presiding over the bench which included Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan.
Hearing the petition today, Justice Nisar inquired from Imran's lawyer Sikandar Bashir Mohmand if Gulalai had submitted a written resignation to which the former responded in the negative.
Mohmand argued that Gulalai had announced her decision to quit the party during a press conference and further said that she had violated the party's constitution by not voting in the prime ministerial election.
Justice Nisar then inquired if the party chief, himself, had cast his vote in the same poll. The lawyer responded that Imran had not been in the city when the election had taken place.
"What if Gulalai says the same; that she was not in the city when the election was held?" responded the chief justice.
The counsel argued that there were legal flaws in the ECP's verdict.
Responding to the counsel's argument regarding the defendant's announcement to resign from the party, Justice Ahsan cited a similar announcement from Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid.
"Sheikh Rashid had also announced his resignation but did that announcement make the resignation effective?" Justice Ahsan wondered. "Political leaders often make such statements," he added.
On August 28, Imran had sent a notice to Gulalai stating that she has defected from the party in terms of Article 63 A (1) of the Constitution.
The notice states that Gulalai on August 1 publically resigned from the party, did not vote for the party’s designated candidate in the prime minister’s elections.
Gulalai had announced to quit the party in early August after levelling allegations of harassment and corruption against the PTI chief. However, she later retracted from the announcement and claimed she would continue to expose the party's double standards.