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Islamabad HC rejects PTI's plea to suspend vacant NA seats by-polls schedule

ANI | Updated: Aug 11, 2022 11:18 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], August 11 (ANI): The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday rejected a plea filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) seeking the suspension of the election schedule for nine National Assembly seats issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Addressing the petitioner, the court remarked let the electoral process continue, adding that the process of by-elections in 123 constituencies would also be completed later, The News International reported.
Acting Chief Justice Aamer Farooq heard the case filed by PTI challenging the election schedule in nine constituencies.
Faisal Chaudhry, the PTI lawyer said they wanted the IHC to halt the by-elections schedule, to which the court asked the lawyer to present legal reasons for his request.
The lawyer said that a petition was pending before the IHC against phase-wise acceptance of resignations of PTI's MNAs, adding that 123 PTI MNAs tendered resignations and the by-elections schedule should be issued on all the constituencies, not at nine only.
The court served notices to respondents, and after hearing the case sought a response from the ECP, The News International reported.
It, however, rejected the request to suspend the election schedule. The further hearing of the case was then adjourned till August 16.
Last week, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf moved the Islamabad High Court seeking the suspension of the ECP's by-election schedule for nine National Assembly (NA) seats. PTI lawyer Faisal Chaudhry filed a petition before the Islamabad High Court requesting the court to suspend the election schedule.
He stated in the petition that PTI's main petition for the acceptance of all party MNA resignations was currently pending adjudication before the IHC.
It said the issuance of the election schedule despite the court taking notice of the prior petition was a "deliberate and malicious effort" to defeat the PTI's cause and the respondents were bound to follow and defer to the court's order.

The petition further argued that if the election schedule was not suspended, it would cause "irreparable loss" to the PTI and defeat the cause of the previous petition pending adjudication.
The court heard the application on August 4 and issued a notice, the application stated, adding that the schedule was issued despite the ECP being aware of the notice.
The party requested that till a decision is reached in the PTI's main case, the election schedule should remain suspended.
The Election Commission on Friday announced the by-elections on nine National Assembly (NA) seats to be held on September 25.
The poll body announced the schedule for the constituencies of NA-22 Mardan, NA-24 Charsadda, NA-31 Peshawar, NA-45 Kurram, NA-108 Faisalabad, NA-118 Nankana Sahib, as well as NA-237 Malir, NA-239 Korangi Karachi and NA-246 Karachi South.
The nine seats are among the 11 seats vacated after the ECP, on July 28, accepted 11 out of the 131 resignations tendered by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNAs, following the removal of the party chief Imran Khan from the office of the Prime Minister earlier this year, the Dawn reported.
On July 28, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf accepted the resignations of the PTI lawmakers three months after the en masse resignation of the lawmakers on April 11 following the ouster of PM Imran Khan from the top office after the no-confidence motion moved by the joint opposition in the parliament against him succeeded.
The government accepted the resignations of 11 PTI MNAs including Shireen Mazari, Ali Muhammad Khan, Ijaz Shah, Farrukh Habib, Shandana Gulzar, Fazal Muhammad, Fakhar Zaman, Abdul Shakoor Shad, Jameel Ahmed and Akram Cheema, ARY News reported.
The confirmation of the acceptance of the resignations was issued by the NA Secretariat, which issued a list.
Notably, the PTI members after approval of the party's leadership tendered their resignations from the National Assembly. PTI MNA Murad Saeed was the first PTI MNA who submitted his resignation to the National Assembly's speaker, ARY News reported.
The then-Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Qasim Suri approved the resignations of the PTI MNAs. (ANI)