LAHORE: A Lahore High Court full bench formed to decide several petitions pending since long against former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and former presidents retired Gen Pervez Musharraf and Asif Ali Zardari, dissolved on Monday following recusal by one of its members.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti, Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan and Justice Shujaat Ali Khan assembled to hear the petitions. However, Justice Khan recused himself from hearing the cases for “personal reasons”.

The CJ observed although the petitions became infructuous due to the death of the petitioners, a new full bench would be constituted to formally dispose of the pleas.

Advocate Rana Ilamuddin Ghazi had filed the petitions against Musharraf and Zardari, while Advocate Shahid Naseem Gondal and Advocate Allah Bakhsh Gondal against Gilani.

These petitions filed from 2010 to 2012 were last heard by the LHC in 2017. However, all three petitioners passed away during the pendency of their petitions. Senior lawyer AK Dogar, who was the counsel for Advocate Ghazi, in one of the petition, also passed away last year.

The petition against Gen Musharraf had sought treason proceedings against him for imposing emergency rule in the country. In another plea, the court was asked to disqualify Zardari for holding political office of the PPP while being president of the country. Against Mr Gilani, the petitioners said, he continued to hold the PM office despite his conviction under contempt of court charge by the SC.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2021

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