Zardari put on notice for contempt of court
23 June, 2012
LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Friday served a notice on President Asif Ali Zardari for holding multiple offices despite an earlier order against it.
The CJ issued the notice to the president's principal secretary, asking him to submit a reply within a week. Justice Bandial also formed a larger bench in this regard.
The court was hearing a contempt petition filed by Munir Ahmad. The petitioner's counsel, AK Dogar, requested that the court should summon the president to explain his position.
The chief justice observed that the notice had been issued to the president's principal secretary and the court would decide future course of action after the submission of a reply. The LHC CJ observed that the counsel should not repeatedly ask to summon the president as the court could summon the president if required. He observed that the office of the president was respectable and the court's full bench had expected that the president would disassociate himself from political activities but he did not do so.
Muhammad Azhar said President Zardari had not disassociated himself from his political office as expected by the court. He said the full bench on May 12, 2011 had held that President Zardari should surrender the position of PPP co-chairman and that the Presidency should not be used for political activities.
He said that the bench also ruled that the use of Presidency for political activities was inconsistent with its sanctity, dignity, neutrality and independence. Therefore, it is expected that the president would cease to use the Presidency for political meetings of his party.
He asserted that neither the court's directions were obeyed nor the president had stopped using the Presidency for political activities.
He also said that the president also called National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza and greeted her for giving a ruling in favour of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani by discarding Supreme Court's judgement in contempt of court case. He requested that president should be charged, convicted and sentenced for the contempt of this court.