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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday suspended decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) regarding denotification of around 30 more MNAs of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) from Punjab.

The court hearing the petitions of Shafqat Mahmood and other lawmakers, also suspended the process of by-elections in the constituencies of the petitioners.

The court, however, extended the interim relief to the lawmakers elected from Punjab only and advised others to approach the relevant courts of law.

The court on February 8 had also suspended a notification of the ECP regarding the acceptance of resignations of 43 MNAs of the PTI.

The petitioners through their counsel contended the speaker could not accept the resignations of any MNA without following the three-pronged procedure prescribed by the Constitution.

He pointed out that the en masse resignations could not be accepted and each MNA had to give an application in his own handwriting and resignations must be voluntary.

And for verification of these matters, a personal hearing of each MNA who desires to resign must be undertaken by the speaker, he added.

The counsel said the speaker initially a ruling of the then deputy speaker, Qasim Suri, who had accepted en masse resignations of the MNAs on the ground that the due procedure had not been observed.

He said the speaker had told a delegation of the PTI that he will call everyone individually and then verify the resignations.

The counsel said it was a settled law that under Article 64 of the Constitution, regarding resignation of a member of the national assembly, the speaker while receiving the resignation had a duty to ascertain personally whether it was signed by the person resigning, whether it was voluntary and whether it was intended to act as a resignation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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