Top court to examine 'interesting questions' in de-seated MPAs’ case

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial has said that the apex court is looking forward to examine some really “interesting questions” in the de-seated MPAs’ case from the Punjab Assembly.

A three-member Supreme Court’s bench comprising CJP Bandial, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Ayesha A Malik heard the appeals on Wednesday against the de-seating of 25 former PTI members of the provincial assembly (MPAs) by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

During the course of proceedings, CJP Bandial advised petitioners who had challenged their de-seating from the Punjab Assembly to make the newly-elected members respondents in the case.

Read more: SC seeks arguments from dissident PTI members

He said that new members had been elected after the former members defected from their party.

Meanwhile, Advocate Umar Aslam, counsel for the petitioners, said that he had been hired last night to plead the case. Addressing the counsel, the chief justice said: “The court grants you time for preparation.”

The Supreme Court also allowed dissident MPA Mohsin Ata Khan Khosa to withdraw his appeal. Later, the case was adjourned till the date in office.

The ECP had disqualified 25 dissident PTI MPAs on May 20 on the grounds that they deviated from the party policy by voting in favour of PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz in the election for the Punjab chief minister.

The move came after the top court's decision on a presidential reference seeking interpretation of Article 63A – disqualification of lawmakers over defection.

The apex court had ruled that votes cast against party policy “cannot be counted and must be disregarded, and this is so regardless of whether the party head, subsequent to vote, proceeds to take, or refrains from taking action that would result in the declaration of defection”.

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