Only parliament is the best forum to resolve political disputes: CJ IHC

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Chief Justice (CJ) Islamabad High Court (IHC) Athar Minallah has remarked during the hearing of PTI members resignation case PTI members should give affidavit that they don’t accept PTI policy of boycotting the parliament.

CJ IHC while addressing Counsel for the petitioners during the hearing of the case remarked “ we give you five days. Satisfy us you want to go back to parliament. Parliamentarians should give affidavit they don’t accept party policy for boycotting the parliament. We have great reverence for parliament. It has been denigrated too much. Don’t make fun of the democracy. Only parliament is best forum to resolve political disputes.

The case regarding the acceptance of the resignations of PTI members of National Assembly (NA) came up for hearing before single bench of IHC led by CJ IHC Athar Minallah Thursday.

Barrister Zafar Ali appeared in the court on behalf of PTI. PTI leaders Ali Muhammad Khan, Shandana Gulzar and others were also present in court room.

The CJ IHC remarked during the hearing of the case “ the court has respect for parliament. Earlier one application was too filed. Is it policy of political party. The resignations of others have not been accepted so far. The people have sent the representatives to assembly by reposing trust on them. This court can not issue directives to the speaker of National Assembly. The court has asked only for review in Shakoor Shah case. These are political disputes and the parliament is only place for settling political disputes. You should hold dialogue with political parties to resolve the problems. Do these members who have resigned really want to serve the nation by going to parliament.

The CJP IHC inquired petitioners have come to court with clean hands or otherwise.

Barrister Zafar Ali said petitioners have not come to court against their party policy. Speaker has not discharged his constitutional obligations. The resignations were given on this condition that 123 members will resign from their seats. Speaker has not accepted 123 resignations and he has accepted only 11 resignations. We say the resignations which were given were conditional. If the resignations of all the members have not been accepted then the condition has not been fulfilled. Returning to parliament is a secondary condition.

The CJ remarked then they are virtually boycotting the parliament while they are members of parliament. You should think about it and file affidavit. Are these 10 members of assembly who have come to court in favor of or against party policy. The members themselves accept that the resignations were genuine.

Barrister Ali Zafar took the plea resignations of members of assembly were genuine but were conditional. We say all the resignations were genuine and these should be accepted.

The CJ remarked we have respect for parliament. The political matters should be resolved therein. Those whose resignations have not been accepted should sit in assembly . this court will not be used for political point scoring.

Barrister Ali Zafar said it is not possible at this stage when audio leak has come and 11 members have been expelled.

The CJ remarked It is responsibility of PTI members of assembly to represent those people who have elected them. First go to assembly and then bring this petition. The court will accept the petition.
Ali Zafar said we can not go to assembly They have expelled us.

The CJ IHC remarked this court will not be used for political point scoring. Go and fight your political war outside the court.

Ali Zafar said the party has yet to decide either they have to go to assembly or otherwise.

The CJ remarked it can not happen so that you don’t go to parliament and even then retain the seat too. Should this court leave the people of the respective constituencies without representation by accepting this petition. Too much has been done with parliament in 70 years. Now it should come to end.

Ali Zafar said the petitioners cannot go against the party policy.

The CJ remarked then this court cannot accept this petition. The petitioners can go to speaker and say him that they want to come back.

Ali Zafar said we cannot go to speaker. This court should suspend the notification and then we can go.

The CJ remarked this court will not facilitate for the sake of your political dialogue. On one side you are saying you don’t accept parliament.

Barrister Ali Zafar said we accept parliament.

The CJ remarked this political uncertainty is not in the national interest. This court should accept the petition why. The petition cannot be accepted unless respect for the parliament is expressed. You don’t accept the parliament and are saying send you to parliament. This court gives you time for 5 days. Go to parliament tomorrow and court will accept the petition.
CJ remarked political instability is causing harm to the country. Speaker assembly is giving chance to PTI that they should come and serve the people.

Ali Zafar said give me one hour time. I inform the court after making consultations.

The case announced one hour interval during hearing of the case.

The court resumed the hearing after one hour.

Ali Zafar took the plea I want to present certain legal problems in respect of resignations of PTI members of assembly. Speaker did not keep in view the law while accepting our resignations. The approval to the resignations of PTI 11 members of assembly was not accorded by speaker NA but it was given by the people outside . One audio was leaked wherein Ayyaz Sadiq, Azam Tarar and others are deciding about the resignations.
The CJ remarked don’t say this the speaker decided about resignations at some one other behest. Dissolving parliament or Deputy speaker Qasim Soori ruling was it his own decision. This court is respecting and will continue to respect the parliament but parliamentarians are not respecting.

Barrister Zafar Ali said the decision to return to parliament or otherwise will be political. Court should stay away from it.

The CJ remarked we are not saying any thing to you about it. Petitioners are saying they respect the political party policy. Then why do they want to go back.

The CJ inquired had these members given resignations genuine or for pleasing party leader.

Ali Zafar said PTI gave resignations that all 124 resignations be accepted. Now 11 were selected and their resignations were accepted. The resignations have not been accepted in correct way. Therefore, the party does not want to give resignations now. Party policy is this now that we should now remain MNA.

The CJ remarked your party policy is this it does not accept parliament. Should the court accept the petition to enable the petitioners to boycott the parliament. Staying outside the assembly being member of assembly is insult to this mandate.

CJ remarked Ali Zafar Sahb you are not removing the first hurdle. You should prove the mistake was committed and you want to return to parliament. Tell us who had forced you to resign.

CJ remarked this court appreciates speaker NA to give chance to PTI to return to parliament again.
Speaker gave chance to PTI to return to parliament by ending political chaos. No political party is above parliament. There is need to change this mindset. Parliament is not only a building. Today no one is talking of civil supremacy too.

Ali Zafar questioned does the court want to seek assurance from the petitioners to represent their constituencies in the parliament.

The CJ IHC remarked not only the assurance but they should prove from their act that parliament is supreme. Shakoor Shad case was different. He kept on attending assembly sessions.

The CJ IHC remarked Supreme Court had declared the dissolution of assembly unconstitutional. This party is not even accepting Supreme Court decision. This party says the assembly has been dissolved on their part. They don’t accept it. What they cannot do direct they want to get it done through this court.

CJ IHC remarked if they want election then there are two ways. First is creating political instability. Then the court will not rescue you. The second way is resolving the problems in the parliament by respecting the constitution.

Barrister Ali Zafar said give us some time for consultation on affidavit.

The CJ remarked this court adjourns the hearing of the petition for a long period. When party decides to return to parliament then file miscellaneous petition.

Barrister Ali Zafar said then it will be of no avail. The elections will take place till that time.

The CJ remarked has this petition been filed to stop this election. This court will not accept any petition aimed at trampling the sanctity of the parliament. Members of parliament said they are resigning and are not accepting supreme court decision But he says they should be restored.

The CJ remarked this is contradiction of stance. We adjourn the hearing. This court will not issue notice on your petition too. If you want then we decide about it today. It does not happen so that if things take place according to your will then you will accept and if they are against your desire then you will not accept. Tell us about any democratic society where this is done so . Every democratic society has principles.

The CJ IHC adjourned the hearing of the case for indefinite period.