The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has rejected a PTI petition about the resignations of its lawmakers from the National Assembly.
The political party had challenged the decision of the current Speaker of National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf about the phase-wise approval of the resignations purportedly submitted by 123 PTI MNAs.
When Imran Khan was ousted by the Parliament on April 9, the PTI announced that 123 of its MNAs had resigned and that the resignations were approved by then-Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri.
Speaker Ashraf, however, decided to approve the resignations only after getting them verified by the MNAs, as required by the rules.
The PTI had challenged his decision before the Islamabad High Court, which on Tuesday rejected its petition.
The court also rejected the PTI’s plea to form a larger bench on the issue.
The court ruled that a notification issued following Suri’s order was against the constitution.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, who heard the petition, told the PTI counsel that the party’s MNAs should ask the NA speaker to approve their resignations according to a 2015 IHC ruling on the procedure to approve resignations.
When the counsel said that the PTI did not recognize Ashraf as the NA speaker because, the party believed, he was elected by a minority, the justice said that the PTI needed to change its mindset and respect the Parliament.
Justice Minallah also said that the court cannot interfere with the affairs of Parliament.
Speaking to reporters outside the court, PTI lawyer Faisal Chaudhry announced that he will challenge the court verdict.
Advocate Irfan Qadir, meanwhile, said that the NA speaker holds a constitutional position above the chief justice of Pakistan and that the court has elaborated on this point.
It is the NA speaker’s prerogative to determine if an MNA has resigned from his seat on not, said Qadir.
The speaker will now continue the process and verify the resignations, he said.