LHC issues notice in Shumaila case


The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday issued notice to Pakistan Muslim league-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders and other respondents for June 23 on a petition by former PML-N member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) Shumaila Rana. The former lawmaker was seeking restoration of her assembly seat which she had to forgo following allegations of credit card theft against her.
In the proceedings, Rana Asadullah Khan, counsel for the respondent, told the court that he would only defend Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Iqbal Ahmed in the case and it would be better if the court issued notice to other respondents to hire their own lawyers. On this, Justice Umar Ata Bandial issued notice to the respondents including Khawaja Saad Rafique and Zulfiqar Khosa, stating the same.
Praying for restoration of her seat, Shumaila pleaded that the PML-N leaders bullied her into resigning from the assembly and later the speaker of the assembly accepted the resignation in haste without fulfilling the legal requirements. Shumaila was forced to resign in July, 2009 after a case of credit card theft was registered against her. She said the credit card theft case against her was concocted and baseless but the media and opposition built an atmosphere around her which was against her liberty and movement.
She said threats were extended to her and her family members during the period when her own party – PML-N – was pressurising her to resign. She added that in those days she was mentally disturbed and her image was damaged. She said her party members put so much pressure on her that she was compelled to draft her resignation. “One of the PML-N politicians grabbed the resignation from me and gave it to the speaker of the Punjab Assembly on July 25, 2009,” said Shumaila.
She said on March 01, 2010 she was acquitted from the charges by a court of law. She said, the speaker accepted the resignation which she never gave him. She said the speaker committed a crime by accepting her resignation as he did not adopt the proper legal procedure while accepting her resignation. She said according to Rule 35 of Procedure of Punjab Provincial Assembly 1997, the speaker should have conducted an inquiry before accepting her resignation.
She prayed the court that acceptance of her notification be declared illegal and without lawful authority. She said the notification issued by the Punjab Election Commission to de-notify her as an MPA must also be declared illegal and the respondents be directed to re-notify her as an MPA. Abbottabad commission’s formation challenged: The constitution of a judicial commission to probe Abbottabad operation has been challenged in the Lahore High Court through a writ petition, terming the establishment against a resolution passed by the parliament.
Rana Ilamudin Ghazi, the petitioner, said that the federal government formed the commission, headed by Supreme Court Judge Javed Iqbal, in violation of the resolution, according to which, the commission should have been formed in consultation with the National Assembly opposition leader. He contended that an ‘independent commission’ headed by the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) should have been formed.
Ghazi said that the prime minister should be summoned in court to explain his position, as he had termed Abbottabad operation ‘a historical victory.’ He demanded the court to declare the commission’s constitution illegal and direct the government to form a new commission headed by the CJP.