Wednesday, October 05, 2022

PTI MNAs approach IHC over acceptance of resignations

Plea asks IHC to order NA speaker to hold an enquiry on whether resignations were "voluntary and genuine"

Islamabad High Court. — IHC website
Islamabad High Court. — IHC website

  • Ten PTI requests IHC to order NA speaker to call upon all PTI MNAs.
  • Seeks orders for speaker to launch inquiry whether resignations were voluntary.
  • Seeks suspension of ECP's orders de-seating 11 PTI members. 

ISLAMABAD: In the latest political move, PTI approached on Wednesday the Islamabad High Court (IHC) through a petition filed for the approval of the resignations tendered by the party law makers following Imran Khan's ouster as prime minister.

All the PTI MNAs resigned en masse on April 11, two days after PTI Chairman Imran Khan was ousted as the prime minister through a no-confidence motion moved by the then-opposition. Former deputy speaker Qasim Suri — who was performing his duties as acting NA speaker after Asad Qaiser resignation — had accepted all the resignations on April 15.

However, once Raja Pervez Ashraf was elected as the speaker, he decided to verify the resignations by interviewing lawmakers individually.

Later, the resignations of PTI members were de-sealed and Raja accepted 11 of them.

The plea

The joint petition, filed by 10 out of the 11 lawmakers, states that the NA speaker "unlawfully" declared them as having resigned, which led to the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) notification to de-seat them.

The petitioners maintained that the PTI MNAs tendered their resignations as per party policy on political grounds with the objective of reaching an agreement with the then "opposition parties for holding fresh elections so that a new government may be formed with a real mandate" of people.

Moreover, the petitioners submitted the records and transcript of the audio leaks regarding the PTI resignations that surfaced on September 25.

The plea stated that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, cabinet members and PML-N leaders were heard taking approval for accepting the resignations from PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif. They said the government did not deny the audio leaks, but owned it on September 27, which backs the PTI's stance that the resignations were not properly processed.

The petitioners requested the court to direct the NA speaker to summon "112 MNAs" and petitioners for an inquiry whether the resignations were "voluntary and genuine", and fulfilled the criteria laid out under Article 64 of the constitution.

The party appealed to the court to declare the the spaker and ECP's order on their seats "illegal", issued "without lawful authority and of no legal effect. They also stated that the orders were in violation of the Constitution and the law settled by the Supreme Court.

The PTI had appealed to the IHC to hold immediate hearing of their case. However, the request was turned down and the court decided to hold a hearing tomorrow (October 6).

IHC CJ Athar Minallah will hear the plea.

PTI's plea for acceptance of resignations in one go dismissed

The IHC on September 6, dismissed a similar plea filed by PTI leader Asad Umar on the party's behalf, which sought the acceptance of the party's members of the National Assembly in one go.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the case filed by the PTI challenging the acceptance of resignations of 11 MNAs and not accepting a "piece-meal" resignation of all 123 lawmakers.

The IHC CJ declared former NA deputy speaker Qasim Suri's resignation acceptance order void and ordered every MNA to appear before NA speaker in person to get their resignation accepted.