The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice (CJ) Athar Minallah remarked on Thursday that the court cannot issue orders to the National Assembly.

The IHC CJ made the observation while hearing PTI’s petition on the approval of the resignations of a select party lawmakers following Imran Khan's ouster as prime minister.

At the outset of the hearing, Justice Minallah stated that court respects the Parliament, adding that a similar petition was also filed before as well on this matter.

“Is this the political party’s policy,” wondered the judge, while acknowledging that rest of the PTI MNAs resignations are yet to be accepted. People trusted the representatives and sent them to Parliament, he remarked.

"This court cannot issue orders to the speaker of the National Assembly," remarked Justice Athar Minallah on the PTI's petition directing the court to direct the custodian of the lower house to investigate their party's resignations. He also observed that in the Shakoor Shad case IHC had only asked for a review.

“This is a political issue and Parliament is the place to resolve political tussles. You should hold dialogue with political parties to resolve problems,” said the IHC CJ. Do these resigned members really want to go to Parliament and resolve the people’s issue? he wondered.

“We have to see if the petitioners came with clean hands before the court or not,” remarked the judge.

At this, Barrister Ali Zafar, the counsel for the PTI lawmakers, told the court that his clients have not come against party policy.

However, the judge observed that the petitioners had themselves admitted that their resignations were “genuine”.

But the lawyer told the court that his clients believe that Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf did not fulfil his constitutional obligation. The resignations were given on the condition that all 123 will be accepted, he added and reminded the court that only 11 were accepted.

“We say that the resignations given were conditional. If all the members' resignations were not accepted then the condition was not met,” said Zafar. He also added that the resignations were not accepted without a proper inquiry, sharing that the current number of resignations laying before the speaker was 112.

At this, Justice Minallah observed that the MNAs whose resignations were pending should be in Parliament. It is their responsibility to represent people in parliament, he added.

Zafar responded to this by saying that going to Parliament was a “secondary issue”.

“Then by being members of Parliament they are virtually boycotting the assembly. Think about this and submit an affidavit,” said the judge. In 70 years courts have been involved in a lot of political matters and this has harmed the judiciary as an institution, he observed.