The Lahore High Court has issued a suspension on the denotification of 43 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers, who had challenged the acceptance of their resignations by National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. Moreover, the court also ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan not to hold by-elections for the affected seats as a result of the judgment.
PTI Members of the National Assembly appealed to Justice Shahid Karim, contending that their resignations had been illegally accepted since they had withdrawn their requests prior to the notification being issued. After the vote of no confidence against the then-premier Imran Khan, the PTI initially submitted resignations en masse. As a result, Speaker Ashraf expressed reservations and started the process of phase-by-phase acceptance as soon as the concerned MNAs had confirmed their resignations personally.
According to the 43 MNAs, they submitted their resignations in accordance with party policy, but did not confirm them to the Speaker, and tried to inform the Speaker and the ECP that they had withdrawn their resignations. As a result of their efforts, the resignations were accepted, and the PTI MNAs were later denotified by the ECP, resulting in vacant seats
The courts had previously declined to intervene in the matter, considering it to be outside their jurisdiction. However, the LHC removed the objections from the registrar’s office, enabling the PTI to proceed with its appeal. During the proceedings, petitioner’s counsel Barrister Ali Zafar argued that the Speaker’s decision to accept the withdrawn resignations was unlawful.
After hearing the arguments, Justice Karim suspended the notifications issued by the Speaker and the ECP, and has requested responses on the matter from the relevant parties. A development like this serves as a reminder of the ongoing political turmoil and the court’s willingness to intervene in matters that are complex and controversial.