Zardari accepted verdict in dual office case: LHC
30 June, 2012
LAHORE: A full bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC), in its written order issued on Friday, held that President Asif Ali Zardari did not challenge the LHC order of May 12, 2011 and as such he accepted it.
The bench held that the law declared by the full bench in dual office case had enforceable legal effects and binding force and no further judicial steps were required to enhance enforceability of such declaration of law. An LHC full bench on June 27 had granted President Zardari until September 5 to relinquish the office of the PPP co-chairman and also not to hold political activities at the Presidency.
The bench directed the LHC office to serve an instant order on the president through his principal secretary, asking him to submit a written reply to explain about the position taken by the president regarding compliance of the court order.
The bench ordered, "In the present case, the respondent (the president) has also accepted the judgement (issued on May 12, 2011) by not challenging the same. That confers finality on the judgement and stops the respondent from challenging it. It is also plain that even after the lapse of one year following the judgement, the respondent continues to retain in his private capacity the office of co-chairperson of the Pakistan People's Party.
Prima facie the forgoing facts are such that these require further probes by this court. Nevertheless at the inceptional stage in the contempt matter, it is fair and just that the respondent is apprised of the forgoing position, the law declared by full bench of this court and the obligations cast upon him as a result of the judgement. It is expected that the respondent (president) shall appreciate that his obligations under the judgement had crystallised on account of his acceptance."
The bench also issued fresh notice to the attorney general of Pakistan to seek his assistance on various constitutional aspects of the case. On May 12, 2011, a full bench of the LHC, headed by then chief justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry, in its 33-page judgement had expected that the president would abide by the declaration of law to disassociate himself from political office at the earliest possible. The bench had held that the use of Presidency for political activities was inconsistent with the sanctity, dignity, neutrality and independence of the Presidency.
"Therefore, it is expected that the president would cease the use of the premises of the Presidency for political meetings of his party," the bench had written in the judgement.
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah comprised the full bench.