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Friday, April 12, 2024

IHC rejects PTI’s plea to accept all resignations at once

A PTI petition asking for the party's lawmakers to be seated in the National Assembly all at once was rejected by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday.

A PTI petition asking for the party’s lawmakers to be seated in the National Assembly all at once was rejected by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday.

The PTI filed a lawsuit contesting the IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah’s decision to accept the resignations of 11 MNAs but reject the resignation of all 123 legislators in one go.

The IHC CJ ruled that the resignation acceptance order issued to former NA deputy speaker Qasim Suri was invalid and ruled that every MNA must appear in person before the NA speaker to have their resignation acknowledged.

IHC CJ Minallah also turned down PTI attorney Faisal Chaudhry’s request for a larger bench to hear the case.

On April 11, all PTI MNAs abruptly resigned, two days after PTI Chairman Imran Khan was removed as prime minister following a no-confidence motion introduced by the then-opposition.

On April 15, Suri accepted all of the resignations while serving as the NA’s interim speaker after Asad Qaiser’s resignation. But after Raja Pervez Ashraf was named speaker, he made the decision to conduct one-on-one interviews with every MNA to confirm their resignations.

The decision was made in response to information that some resignation letters presented by the MPs were typewritten, in violation of the NA’s norms.

The petition

After the NA speaker accepted the resignations of 11 MNAs on August 1, PTI Secretary-General Asad Umar — on behalf of his party — filed a petition in the IHC.

Read More: PTI challenges approval of 11 MNAs’ resignations

The PTI leader sought in the petition that all 123 MNAs be de-notified simultaneously and have their seats declared vacant.

In the appeal, Asad claimed that following the no-confidence vote, the PTI MNAs had submitted their resignations and that Shah Mahmood Qureshi had made the announcement.

The petitioner claimed that the incumbent speaker lacks the authority to postpone the acceptance of resignations and claimed that the then-deputy speaker Qasim Suri had accepted the resignations.

According to him, the speaker is required to submit the resignations to the ECP, which would then declare by-elections for the vacated seats.