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Friday January 27, 2023

Satisfy court why Imran can’t continue as PTI chief: LHC

The LHC reserved its verdict on the maintainability of a petition, seeking directions for removing Imran Khan as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman

By News Desk
November 04, 2022
The LHC building in Lahore. The News/File
The LHC building in Lahore. The News/File

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday reserved its verdict on the maintainability of a petition, seeking directions for removing Imran Khan as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman.

Justice Muhammad Sajid Mehmood Sethi heard the petition, filed by Advocate Muhammad Afaq. The judge asked the petitioner to satisfy the court why Imran Khan could not continue as the party chairman.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had disqualified Imran in a reference on October 21 under Article 63(1)(p). Subsequently, on Oct 24, the ECP had de-notified him as an MNA from NA-95 with “immediate effect”.

The petition named Imran Khan, the ECP, the Federation, Government of Pakistan and others as respondents. The plea argued that according to the Representation of the People Act 1976 and Political Parties Order (PPO) 2002, it was a legal and constitutional requirement for party officeholders to be qualified in accordance with articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

The petition said that after Imran’s disqualification from the NA-95 constituency, it was just for him to be denotified as the PTI chairman and an order should be issued to this effect. He contended that a disqualified person could not head a political party under the Political Parties Order and its rules.

The lawyer requested the court to order the ECP to remove Imran as PTI chairman and issue directives for the nomination of a new party head. At this, the court observed how Imran Khan could not keep the party office, asking the counsel to advance arguments on the issue.

The counsel replied that he did not want interim relief for now and requested the court to issue notice to the parties. Subsequently, the court reserved the verdict on maintainability of the petition.

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