Friday, September 09, 2022
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) remarked Friday that PTI's en masse resignations have become suspicious after a lawmaker from the party said he did not resign from his National Assembly seat.
PTI MNA Abdul Shakoor Shad challenged his resignation in the IHC, saying that he had expressed solidarity with the 123 MNAs who had left their seats, but he never resigned.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had de-notified 11 MNAs of the PTI, including Shad after former deputy speaker Qasim Suri sent the resignations of 123 PTI lawmakers.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard Shad's case. The justice directed him to continue working as a lawmaker and also nullified the ECP notification that de-notified him.
Two days after PTI Chairman Imran Khan was ousted as the prime minister — through a no-confidence motion moved by the then-opposition — all PTI MNAs resigned en masse on April 11.
Suri — who was performing his duties as the acting NA speaker after Asad Qaiser resigned as the speaker — had accepted all the resignations on April 15.
However, once Raja Pervez Ashraf was appointed as the speaker, he decided to verify the resignations of all MNAs by interviewing them individually.
The decision was taken after reports that several resignations submitted by the lawmakers were typed and not handwritten — which is against the NA's rules.
Shad's lawyer told the IHC that his client's party had taken his signature to show "solidarity" with other lawmakers who had resigned.
"The resignation, however, was typed by a computer operator of the party, which does not include a date and neither does it have an address," he informed the court.
The lawyer said that Shad was involved in the parliamentary proceedings as well. His attendance records are also present from the month of July, the counsel said.
"So, was he ever called for a confirmation of his resignation?" the IHC inquired, to which the lawyer responded that Shad was asked to come in once, but could not go as he was sick.
"But after that, he did participate in the sittings of the standing committees," the lawyer added.
Following the arguments, the court directed Shad to continue as a lawmaker. IHC CJ Minallah then issued notices to the ECP and the NA Secretariat, seeking answers from them within two weeks.