LAHORE - The PTI MNAs have constitutional right to withdraw their resignations before the National Assembly speaker kick starts any action in this regard.
According to legal experts, any legislator has the right to take back the decision before the custodian of the house accepts it and notifies the seat vacant. They say the procedure of submitting resignation has clearly been mentioned in the Constitution and a parliamentarian remains a member till the speaker accepts his resignation.
Over 30 PTI MNAs have tendered their resignations in accordance with the party decision to mount pressure on the prime minister to step down to pave the way for fresh elections. However, the government is trying to persuade the PTI leadership to review the decision. Some other parties are also making individual efforts to tell the PTI the likely consequences of such move. The Jamaat-e-Islami leaders have urged the speaker not to take an immediate decision on the PTI’s resignations.
According to some media reports, more than a dozen PTI MNAs, all belonging to KP, have formed a group to resist the decision taken by the party leadership. MNAs of the said group are of the view that their resignations should not be used unless the party decision was not applied on the MPAs as well.
Senior Advocate Abid Hassan Minto said that the resignation of a parliamentarian would not be considered as "resignation" until the National Assembly speaker accepted it after making its confirmation.
Quoting the present political situation, he said that the parliamentarians had just tendered their resignations and it did not mean that their seats have fallen vacant.
Pakistan Bar Council vice chairman Ramazan Chaudhry said that the resignation of any parliamentarian is not considered as resignation as long as it is accepted by the speaker.
However, Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique said a resignation would be considered as validly tendered and the seat of the parliamentarian concerned vacant immediately. He substantiated his argument quoting Article 64 of the Constitution with Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007.
Article 64 of the Constitution says that a member of Majlis-e-Shura (Parliament) may, by writing under his hand addressed to the Speaker or, as the case may be, the Chairman resigns, his seat, and thereupon his seat shall become vacant.
While Rule 43 of ‘Rules of Procedure’ and conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007 also makes it clear that a member under clause (1) of Article 64 may, by writing under his hand addressed to the Speaker, resign his seat and (a) If a member hands over the letter of resignation to the Speaker personally and informs him that the resignation is voluntary and genuine and the Speaker has no information or knowledge to the contrary; or (b) the Speaker receives the letter of resignation by any other means and he, after such inquiry as he thinks fit, either himself or through the National Assembly Secretariat or through any other agency, is satisfied that the resignation is voluntary and genuine, the Speaker shall inform the Assembly of the resignation. When the Assembly is not in session, the Speaker shall direct that intimation of his resignation specifying the date of the resignation be given to every member immediately.
The experts say that the Secretary shall, after the Speaker feels satisfied that the letter of resignation is voluntary and genuine, publish in the Gazette a notification to the effect that the member has resigned his seat, and forward a copy of the notification to the Chief Election Commissioner for taking steps to fill the vacancy while the date of resignation of a member shall be the date specified in writing by which he has resigned or if no date is specified therein the date of receipt of such writing by the Speaker.