Lahore: Verdict on president`s dual office reserved
LAHORE, March 10: A Lahore High Court full bench on Thursday reserved judgment on several petitions challenging holding of Pakistan People’s Party co-chairperson office by President Asif Ali Zardari after leading counsel for petitioners in the case concluded his arguments.
Different high court benches had been hearing these petitions since 2009.
Initially, a legal-panel of federation comprising Talib H Rizvi, S M Masood, Saiful Malook and Ramzan Chaudhry had contested the petitions. However, the panel boycotted the proceedings expressing mistrust and dissatisfaction with court after it had refused to hear federation’s objection petition first.
The incumbent bench headed by Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry had started ex-parte (one sided) proceedings on the petitions. However, the bench had appointed two senior constitutional experts — Abid Hasan Manto and SM Zafar — as amicus curie (friend of court).
On Thursday, petitioners’ counsel A K Dogar in his concluding arguments reiterated that the act of President Zardari of holding a political office was in clear violation of Article 41 (1) of the Constitution. He insisted the president, being head of the state, could not hold office of a political party.
Mr Dogar said Asif Ali Zardari made the President’s House a hub of political activities by holding a political office. He prayed the president be directed to surrender the office of PPP co-chairperson.
The bench after hearing the arguments reserved the judgment.
The petitions were filed by the Pakistan Lawyers Forum of AK Dogar, Engineer Ghulam Jillani and Advocate Asif Mehmood Khan.