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Sunday, May 26, 2024

LHC strikes down ECP order to denotify 43 PTI lawmakers

The court has also issued notices to the federal government and the electoral body and instructed them to submit their responses on the matter at the next hearing.

In a major development, the Lahore High Court (LHC) has suspended the notification of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that de-notified 43 MNAs of PTI.

According to the details, LHC judge Justice Shahid Karim heard the case on a petition filed by PTI against the Speaker’s acceptance of PTI MNAs resignations. The high court also stayed the by-elections on the 43 constituencies of the de-notified MNAs till further notice.

The court has also issued notices to the federal government and the electoral body and instructed them to submit their responses on the matter at the next hearing.

Read more: PTI MNAs sent to Adiala Jail

“The court suspended the decision of the Speaker which was made on a political basis. Membership of 43 Tehreek-e-Insaf MNAs restored. Raja Riaz Sahib, prepare to vacate the room of Leader of Opposition,” PTI senior leader Asad Umar said while reacting to the development.

“At the same time, the Speaker should keep a bit of democracy and issue a notification to change the Leader of the Opposition. Going to court for everything is not a good parliamentary practice,” PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry said.

Deadlock over PTI MNAs resignation

PTI announced mass resignations from the lower house of parliament on April 11, a day after the ouster of then prime minister Imran Khan through a vote of no-confidence.

Former NA deputy speaker Qasim Suri had accepted their resignations. However, on April 17, the newly elected NA speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf directed the assembly secretariat to deal with the resignations of the PTI lawmakers afresh and present them before him so that they could be treated as per law.

He decided to hold inquiries and verify each resignation by calling each MNA individually to confirm whether they were willing and ready to resign. However, he did not do that and then accepted the resignation of 70 PTI members last month in two phases. On Jan 25, the ECP de-notified 43 PTI members of the National Assembly following the acceptance of their resignations by NA Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.

Read more: Deadlock intensifies between NA speaker & PTI MNAs over resignations

As a result, PTI lawmakers filed a petition and accused the NA speaker of accepting resignations to ‘politically victimize’ the opponents. They pleaded with the court to nullify the decision of speaker Raja Pervaiz Asharaf and the order of the Election Commission of Pakistan.