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Dual office case: Contempt petition against Zardari disposed of

30 March, 2013

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LAHORE: A full bench of the Lahore High Court has disposed of a contempt petition against President Asif Ali Zardari for not surrendering the political office of PPP co-chairperson and holding political activities in the Presidency even after LHC's restraint order of May 2011.

The decision came after a statement by the federal government's counsel, Wasim Sajjad, on Friday that President Zardari had quit the office of PPP co-chairperson and was also not taking part in any political activities in the Presidency. He said all these steps taken by the president showed compliance of the LHC judgement.

He requested the bench to conclude the proceedings. The bench comprising Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh, Sheikh Najamul Hassan, Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah observed that the steps taken by the president for implementation of the judgement were welcoming and the court expected President Zardari will continue to conduct himself in a manner befitting the law.

The bench remarked that relinquishing the office of the co-chairperson of the party by the president has established supremacy of the law and constitution. It turned down a request of the petitioner's counsel for issuing direction to the president against any political activities in future with remarks that the petitioner could approach the court again if any grievance arises in future. The bench held that further proceedings in the case were not required after the undertaking submitted by the federation's counsel and disposed of the petition.

The contempt petition was moved by Munir Ahmad through Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique and Advocate AK Dogar against the president for holding a political office and conducting political activities in violation of LHC full bench order. The counsel alleged that the president had neither disassociated himself from political office as expected by the LHC full bench in its decision against president's dual office.

He submitted that the use of Presidency for political activities by Asif Ali Zardari was not only illegal but also violation of court's orders. He prayed that the president be issued a show-cause notice and punished for the contempt of court. The petitioners' counsel had already concluded his arguments on maintainability of this petition.


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