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Larger LHC bench to hear Zardari case

LAHORE, Aug 30: The chief justice of Lahore High Court has constituted a five-judge larger bench to hear a contempt of court petition against President Asif Ali Zardari for not relinquishing the political office of PPP co-chairman.

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial will head the bench with Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh, Justice Sheikh Najamul Hasan, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah as members. The hearing will begin on Sept 5.

Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique, chairman of the Judicial Activism Panel, had filed the petition against the president for continuing to hold a political office and indulge in political activities in violation of an order of an LHC full bench.

The petitioner said the president had neither dissociated himself from the political office in accordance with the court’s order against his dual office nor stopped ‘misusing’ the Presidency. He said the use of the Presidency for partisan political activities was not only illegal but also contempt of the court’s orders issued on May 12 last year.

He prayed that a show-cause notice should be issued to the president and he should be punished under the Contempt of Court Ordinance of 2003 read with Article 204 of the Constitution.