LAHORE, June 24 Resolving the controversy over the presidential slot of the Lahore High Court Bar Association, the Punjab Bar Council on Wednesday ordered fresh election for the office on July 11.
The PBC executive committee declared the election of Justice Nasira Iqbal (retired) to the office of the LHCBA president null and void, and restrained vice-president Munawar Iqbal Gondal from working as president.
Disposing of a complaint filed by Mr Gondal against the election of Nasira Iqbal, the committee, headed by Rana Arif Kamal Noon, also decided that fresh election would be held under the supervision of the PbBC. Both Munawar Gondal and Nasira Iqbal hailed the decision.
Earlier, during the hearing of the complaint, former LHCBA president Ahmad Awais concluded his arguments on behalf of Nasira Iqbal. He said the fresh elections were required for filling the office of the president within a reasonable time whenever it fell vacant under the rules.
He said vice presidents had been taking over as presidents according to the 150-year-old tradition of the bar, but tradition is subservient to rules. He said the opponents had not responded positively to his proposal for resolving the crisis through referendum.
He said early resolution of the dispute was necessary because the dignity of the bar was at stake and everybody was laughing at it.
Defending the formation of the election board which conducted the controversial election of Nasira Iqbal, Syed Manzoor Gillani said the committee of the former LHCBA presidents, which decided to hold fresh election for the office of the president, had been constituted by the LHCBA general body during a meeting on April 29.
He said the election schedule had been given during a meeting presided over by Ahmad Saeed Kirmani after the Lahore High Court disposed of a writ petition praying for ordering fresh election.
He said LHCBA Secretary-General Muqtadir Akhtar Shabbir was not authorised to convene the general house meeting without receiving a requisition.
Azhar Siddique on behalf of Mr Gondal argued that there was no provision for by-election in the LHCBA rules. The vice president (Gondal) took over as president after the elevation to the Supreme Court of the former president.
He said the Punjab Bar Council should not order fresh election as it required the candidates to tour the entire province for canvassing.