LHC suspends ECP order to de-notify PTI MNAs from Punjab

LHC suspends ECP order to de-notify PTI MNAs from Punjab

Lahore (Web Desk): The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday suspended the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) de-notification of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Members of National Assembly (MNAs) from Punjab.

LHC’s Justice Shahid Karim heard a petition filed by PTI MNAs including Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pervez Khatak, Asad Umar, and others challenging two notifications – one issued by the National Assembly speaker through which their resignations were accepted and the second of ECP in which they had been de-notified.

The PTI had resigned en masse from the lower house of parliament following the ouster of former premier Imran Khan in April 2022.

Later, NA speaker Ashraf accepted only 11 of the resignations, stating that the remaining lawmakers would be summoned individually for verification.

On January 17, the Speaker accepted the resignations of 34 more PTI MNAs and Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid while three days later on January 20, the speaker accepted 35 more resignations.

The lawmakers had approached the high court challenging the acceptance of their resignation and subsequent denotification by the commission after the high court suspended a similar order of the ECP regarding 43 PTI MNAs.

The petitioners had made NA speaker, NA secretary, the ECP and the federation of Pakistan as respondents in the plea.

The petitioners had also urged the court to suspend the notifications from NA Secretariat and the ECP till the final disposal of the plea.
The court issued notices to the ECP as well as the NA speaker. Subsequently, the hearing was adjourned till March 7.
On February 8, the LHC had also suspended the NA speaker’s acceptance of the resignations of 43 PTI lawmakers and put by-elections in 43 constituencies on hold.