IHC suspends notification vacating PTI’s NA-246 seat

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The Islamabad High Court suspended on Friday the notification declaring the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s NA-246 seat from Lyari, Karachi vacant.

The IHC’s order came during the hearing, headed by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, of PTI leader Shakoor Shad’s petition challenging the acceptance of the resignation.

In his petition, Shad claimed that he did not resign from his seat in the National Assembly. He said that the resignation letter was written by a computer operator at PTI’s head office and was signed by 123 members. Further, Shad noted that the letter did not address the lower house speaker and did not have a name or date on it.

According to the petition, the PTI had said that the resignations were taken to show solidarity with the PTI chariman Imran Khan to maintain party discipline and for “political purposes”.

The petition further alleged that the approval of the resignation was in violation of the judgment given by Justice Athar Minallah in 2015 in which the court declared that resignation must be voluntary, made of free will and for the purpose of vacating the seat.

The court inquired whether Shad had been called by the speaker of the National Assembly. Shad’s lawyer replied that he received a notice but did not appear. The court remarked that despite this, the NA speaker had accepted the resignation.

The IHC decided to suspend the notification of acceptance of the resignation of Abdul Shakoor Shad and directed him to join NA meeting and proceedings.

The court issued notices to the NA speaker and secretariat and sought their response. It also issued a notice to the Election Commission of Pakistan, and sought its response within two weeks.

 

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