The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has rejected a petition filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) against the ‘piecemeal’ acceptance of the resignation of only 11 PTI MNAs.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah on Tuesday heard the PTI’s plea against the acceptance of the resignation of only 11 MNAs, as opposed to all 123 PTI lawmakers.
CJ Minallah declared former deputy speaker of the National Assembly Qasim Suri’s acceptance of the resignation of the PTI lawmakers ‘unconstitutional’, and simultaneously also rejected PTI counsel Faisal Chaudhry’s request for a larger bench.
Two days after the ouster of former prime minister Imran Khan on April 11 through a vote of no confidence, all PTI MNAs —123 in total— submitted their resignations. On April 15, Qasim Suri, who became acting National Assembly Speaker after Asad Qaiser resigned, accepted their resignations.
However, since the coalition government came into power and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf became the new Speaker of the National Assembly, it was decided that the resignations would be verified through individual interviews, as the resignations were printed and not handwritten, as the NA states.
Therefore, on July 27, Ashraf accepted the resignations of 11 PTI MNAs.
During the hearing today, Faisal Chaudhry, expressing a lack of confidence in Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, said that the speaker’s role was ‘quite dubious’. At this, Justice Minallah reprimanded him and said that he could not issue such statements against the speaker, following which Chaudhry took back his words.
Chaudhry argued that the decision to accept the resignation of the 11 MNAs should be annulled as elections cannot be held on ‘pick-and-choose’ basis. Justice Minallah replied, “This court will not issue orders to the speaker of the assembly,” and ordering every MNA to visit the Speaker to get their resignation verified, he dismissed the case.