Imran moves SC to ban dissident PTI lawmakers for life



ISLAMABAD:

Former prime minister Imran Khan has moved the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday seeking disqualification of dissident Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s members of the National Assembly.

The petition lists the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), speaker of the National Assembly, law secretary and cabinet secretary as parties, and has been filed under Article 184(3) of the Constitution – which states that for the apex court to have jurisdiction on a matter, the matter needs to be of public importance and a violation of fundamental rights mentioned in the Constitution.

The petition requested that the dissident PTI members should be disqualified from parliamentary affairs for life and that if any member wants to leave the party they must resign as members of the NA first “instead of committing defection as provided in Article 63-A of the Constitution by changing his loyalty in favour of another political party actuated by hidden motive”.

It stated that shifting loyalties meant that the individual was no longer Sadiq and Amin (truthful and honest).

The petition further claimed that the votes cast by dissident PTI members in the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan should not be counted and should be considered controversial.

Read Ousted PM, PTI members resign en masse from National Assembly

“Being an elected representative [it] is constitutionally prohibited and morally reprehensible to refrain from act of defection [against their parliamentary party], and the member cannot claimed a vested right to have his vote counted… and such tented votes are to be excluded from the vote count,” the petition read.

It stated that there was no reason for the dissident party members to not be banned for life.

“This Honourable Court has observed in many cases that defection or floor crossing is nothing short of disease of cancer to the entire body of politics and it destroys the spirit of democratic governance,” the petition said, adding that this justified a lifetime ban against such members under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.

Earlier today, the PTI sent references against 20 of its dissident members to the ECP, seeking their disqualification for violating party discipline and defecting.

Sources in the National Assembly Secretariat confirmed that references were received from the PTI leadership against the members, which had to be submitted to the ECP within two days.

The disqualification reference against the members has been moved under the relevant constitutional provision – which stipulates de-seating of a party member in the event of defection – after they came out in public against the former Imran Khan-led government, joining voices with the then-opposition parties.





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