Full LHC bench formed to hear contempt case against Zardari
26 June, 2012
LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Monday constituted a full bench to hear a contempt of court petition against President Asif Ali Zardari for not disassociating the Presidency from political activities as earlier ordered by the LHC.
The chief justice heads the bench and its other two members are Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah.
The chief justice on June 22 had issued notice on a petition to the principal secretary of President Zardari and also ordered the constitution of a full bench to decide the matter.
Advocate Muneer Ahmad filed the contempt petition and the petitioner's counsel, Muhammad Azhar Siddique, submitted that a full bench of the LHC on May 12, 2011, while disposing of a petition held, "It is expected that the president of Pakistan would abide the foregoing declaration of law to disassociate himself from political office at the earliest." The bench held that use of Presidency for political activities is inconsistent with the sanctity, dignity, neutrality and independence of the Presidency. The bench held that the Presidency could be used only for official activities and not for partisan purposes.
The counsel said that Zardari had failed to comply with the court order as he did not stop political activities at the Presidency.
He submitted that the president had violated the court order and as such was guilty of contempt of court under Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003 and is punishable under Section 5 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003. He requested that the president should be charged, convicted and sentenced for the contempt of this court.
Separately, President Zardari's immunity was challenged in the Supreme Court on Monday.
The petitioner, Advocate Mahmood Akhtar Naqvi, objected to President Zardari's immunity under Article 248 of the constitution. President Zardari is serving as the co-chairman of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) as well.