Holding of dual office: LHC forms bench to hear plea against Zardari
31 August, 2012
LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial has constituted a five-member bench to hold proceedings on a contempt of court petition against President Asif Ali Zardari for not surrendering his political office as per court's judgement.
The bench will be headed by the chief justice while its other members are Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh, Justice Sheikh Najamul Hasan, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah. It will hold proceedings on September 5.
Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique has filed the petition against the president holding political office in violation of the LHC's full bench order of May 12, 2011.
AK Dogar, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that the LHC's full bench had directed the president to give up his political office of PPP co-chairman. He added that the office of president is neutral and any political activity in the Presidency is violation of the constitution.
Dogar said that directions issued by the court had not been obeyed and the president had also not stopped misusing the Presidency for the benefit of his ruling PPP. He said that the president had not disassociated himself from his political office at the "earliest" after the court's verdict.
The lawyer said that even after the LHC's judgement, the president called National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza and greeted her for giving a ruling in favour of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in a contempt of court case.
"That action confirmed the biasness of the leader of a political party rather president of Pakistan," Dogar said.
He alleged that the ruling party was adamant not to obey court orders and this fact could also be established from the statements of the prime minister published in newspapers. He said the use of Presidency for partisan political activities by Zardari was not only illegal but also contempt of court as per Article 204 of the constitution.