- IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah says court could not issue directions to the NA speaker
The Islamabad High Court said on Thursday political matters such as the acceptance of resignations of some Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) National Assembly (NA) members submitted back in April should be handled by parliament, Aaj News reported.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah took up a petition filed by the PTI against NA Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf for accepting only 11 of their resignations instead of those of all 123 party members of the lower house of parliament.
During the hearing, the judge said that the court could not issue directions to the NA speaker. He told the PTI counsel that he must hold a dialogue with other political parties to resolve such disputes.
On Wednesday, PTI MNAs Ali Muhammad Khan, Fazal Muhammad Khan, Shaukat Ali, Fakhar Zaman Khan, Farrukh Habib, Ijaz Ahmed Shah, Jamil Ahmed Khan, Muhammad Akram, Dr Shireen Mazari, and Shandana Gulzar Khan had filed a petition through Barrister Syed Ali Zafar.
This was related to PTI MNAs resigning en-bloc after the House passed a no-confidence motion against then prime minister Imran Khan in April this year and ousted him from office in a first in the country’s history.
Barrister Zafar said that the NA speaker did not conduct any due enquiry nor any verification from the petitioners as required by the Constitution. He further stated that while accepting the resignations, the speaker did not follow the requirements of Article 64 as laid down by the superior courts.
He added that the Supreme Court has held in various judgments that under Article 64 of the Constitution, the Speaker, while receiving resignation, has a duty to ascertain personally whether the resignation was signed by the person resigning, whether it was voluntary and whether it was intended to act as a resignation.
He also said unless these three requirements are satisfied and proved, the resignation cannot be given effect as a “resignation” under Article 64.
Earlier this week, PTI general-secretary Asad Umar alleged that an “illegal” path was adopted on the issue of resignations of his party’s members in National Assembly in a bid to create factions in the party.
He said that the federal government was afraid of holding elections on 123 vacant seats, adding that some resignations of PTI members are being accepted under a “conspiracy”. He added that in a leaked audio, it revealed that the government wants to accept the resignations of the preferred members.