SC advises PTI MNAs to return to parliament

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Supreme Court on Thursday advised the Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) of Pakistan Tehreek-e-insaf (PTI) to rejoin the parliament.
A two-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ayesha A Malik heard the case filed by the PTI challenging the IHC’s judgement of terming the phased acceptance of its MNAs’ resignations by the National Assembly speaker legal. During the course of proceedings, the CJP said the people had elected the PTI lawmakers for five years, who should play their role in the parliament, which was their basic obligation.
He observed that the Islamabad High Court’s order clearly stated that the phase-wise acceptance of resignations by the NA speaker had a legal standing. Interfering in the NA speaker’s authority could affect Article 69 of the Constitution, and such meddling would be difficult task for the court, he added. The chief justice asked the PTI’s lawyer to satisfy the court as to what lacked in the high court’s order.
PTI’s counsel Faisal Chaudhry said acting speaker Qasim Suri had accepted the resignations of all the 123 PTI MNAs. Once resignations were accepted, they could not be verified again, he argued. The chief justice observed that the intention behind Suri’s instant decision seemed to be the same as the one behind his ruling on the no-confidence motion.
Justice Ayesha Malik said Suri’s decision did not mention the name of any lawmaker whose resignation was accepted. She questioned how the PTI could approach the court as a whole when tendering the resignation was an individual act. The chief justice advised the PTI lawmakers to return to the National Assembly at the time when the nation had been badly affected by the catastrophic floods. Flood affectees had neither water to drink nor food to eat, he added.
He asked whether the PTI had any idea of the cost of conducting elections on 123 NA seats and stated IHC CJ Athar Minallah had issued the judgement after deeply analysing the law. One should exercise tolerance in matters of the state. He asked the counsel to take instructions from the party as the court was giving another chance to think.
The counsel, however, argued that except for Shakoor Shad, who was elected from Karachi’s NA-246 constituency, none of other PTI MNAs had denied of tendering resigned from the NA. He said the IHC, in its order, had stated that it could not interfere in the speaker’s functions.
The chief justice asked whether the NA speaker was ever asked why he was not confirming the remaining resignations. Every institution worked within its domain as an entire system needed to be in place to conduct general election, he added. Later, the case was adjourned till date in office.