Supreme Court again advises PTI to return to National Assembly
Asks party to draft fresh petition in resignations’ case: CJP tells PTI to realize gravity of situation arising out of floods: Says court does not see any fault with IHC’s verdict: Remarks court cannot interfere in NA speaker’s work
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Advising the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) again to return to the National Assembly (NA) and play its role in the House, the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday gave yet another chance to the party to draft its petition against phased acceptance of the resignations given by its 123 members of the National Assembly (MNAs) by the speaker, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
A two-member bench of the SC, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial, heard the petition filed by PTI’s Asad Umar.
During the hearing, CJP Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked that people had elected the PTI as well as other parties’ MNAs for a five-year period. “Becoming part of the parliamentary process is PTI’s real job,” he remarked.
Justice Bandial went on to say that PTI should be aware of the fact that millions of people had been rendered homeless by floods. “They have neither anything to eat nor to drink,” he said, and added, “The situation is so grim that foreign dignitaries and showbiz stars are coming to Pakistan from abroad to help those affected by worst deluge in the country’s history. Do you have any idea how much it will cost the government to hold by-elections on 123 seats of the NA. We think that Chief Justice (CJ) of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Athar Minallah gave decision in the case only after studying the relevant law carefully.”
The CJP reminded the PTI’s counsel that it was explicitly laid down in the IHC’s verdict that phased acceptance of the resignations given by the party’s MNAs were legally valid. “Do convince us as to what are the shortcomings in the high court’s decision,” he remarked.
The CJP said it was very difficult for the apex court to make such type of interference in the NA speaker’s decision. “And if we do so, we risk violating article 69 of the constitution,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Justice Ayesha A. Malik remarked that giving resignation is a lawmaker’s individual act. “How could the PTI approach the court when it is a group of individuals, and not an individual? How could the SC bar the assembly speaker from exercising his powers?” she questioned.
The court then adjourned hearing of the case for an indefinite time period.
Reporter: Amanat Gishkori