Bench hearing Zardari dual office case stands dissolved

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LAHORE – With appointment of Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rahman as Islamabad High Court (IHC) chief justice, the Lahore High Court (LHC) bench hearing the dual office case of President Asif Ali Zardari stands dissolved and would be reconstituted to resume the case’s hearing on January 10.
Justice Hameed was one of the five members on the bench, headed by LHC CJ Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry while Justice Iftikhar Hussain Chaudhry, Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan were also part of the bench. Justice Hameed took oath of his office on Monday and the IHC would start working from today (Tuesday).
A petition was filed by the Pakistan Lawyers’ Forum challenging Zardari’s political activities as the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman. The petition had reached the stage of hearing the point of view of the amicus curiae, after the respondents’ side and the law officers had boycotted court proceedings.
The petitioner argued that the president being the head of the state was constitutionally required to maintain an impartial, neutral and non-partisan position to deal with any situation in the national interest without allowing his party or political interests to hinder his working. He alleged that Zardari is heading a political party and behaves like a party leader on most occasions contrary to the character of his constitutional office.
The petitioner said that the president was notorious for being corrupt and was termed as ‘Mr 10 percent’ by the local and international print and electronic media. He said that Zardari could not be the head of state according to articles 62 and 63 of the constitution. He requested the court to disqualify Zardari from holding dual offices.