LAHORE: During Wednesday’s hearing of the contempt of court petition over the president’s dual office, the Lahore High Court (LHC) said the bench would ensure that judicial directives were implemented, DawnNews reported.
The bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, was seized with the petition. Other members of the bench include Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh, Justice Sheikh Najmul Hassan, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah.
The petitioner’s counsel in his arguments said the matter of contempt of court and the law were equal for everyone. No one could be exempted from punishment for committing contempt of court whether it was the head of state or an ordinary citizen.
The bench remarked that the courts were not adamant over either sentencing anyone or declaring them ineligible. However, the bench would ensure that judicial directives were implemented, it said.
The bench further remarked those among the country’s high-profile should not be ‘targeted’ through such petitions.
Moreover, the bench said it was ironic that certain sections had been referring to the ideals of the law, the sunnah and the Constitution, and yet they kept returning to the argument of presidential immunity.
Subsequently, the court adjourned the hearing until tomorrow, Dec 13.
Earlier on Dec 7, the bench had remarked that defiance of court judgments amounted to shaking the foundation of the Constitution.
“The Constitution does not allow anyone to do any unlawful act,” the bench had stated and posed a question whether the president could be taken to court’s proceedings during his tenure in the office.
On Sept 5, the bench had issued a fresh notice to President Zardari through his principal secretary and had sought a reply to the petition pleading contempt proceedings against him for not abiding the court’s order to relinquish his political office.
The petition that had been filed by Munir Ahmad through lawyers A K Dogar and Azhar Siddique had accused President Zardari of indulging in political activities in the presidency. It had stated that the president had neither disassociated himself from the political office nor had he stopped ‘misusing’ the President House despite a verdict by the Lahore High Court’s full bench against the dual office.
The petitioner had also contended that the use of Presidency for political activities was illegal and tantamount to committing contempt of the court’s orders issued on May 12 last year. He had also requested the court to issue a show-cause notice to the president and punish him under Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003, read with Article 204 of the Constitution.