LAHORE: Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court on Friday overruled an objection raised by the registrar’s office to a joint petition of 43 former lawmakers, belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), against the National Assembly speaker’s decision to accept their resignations.

The office objected to the petition, stating that a challenge was not maintainable against the NA speaker for this being a matter of internal proceedings.

However, Justice Karim reje­cted this objection and decided that the case would be heard on merit, on a date to be fixed by the office in the next week.

The petitioners requested the speaker not to de-notify them, as they had withdrawn resignations, the petition said, adding that the speaker still went ahead and accepted their resignations “without following due process”.

The petition contended that en masse resignations could not be treated as resignations, as they were not voluntary, but based on political considerations to force early elections.

Lawmakers had challenged the acceptance of their resignations

This aspect was never denied by the speaker, and all petitioners were asked to return to parliament, the petition said.

But, when the petitioners opted to return to the assembly, and withdrew their resignations, the speaker “unlawfully” accepted their resignations on political grounds, it added.

The petition alleged that the speaker and the Election Commission never followed the law, but, instead, acted “on the dictation from high-ups”.

The speaker did not personally invite the lawmakers to verify their resignations, before accepting them, it added.

Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2023

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