LHC gives final chance to defend PM’s eligibility


The Lahore High Court (LHC), expressing displeasure at “no response” of the federal government to a petition seeking disqualification of Prime Minister (PM) Yousaf Raza Gilani on Thursday, gave final opportunity to the federation and the attorney general of Pakistan to reply till September 22. On the last hearing, Justice Umar Atta Bandial, admitting a petition for regular hearing, had issued notices to the federation and the attorney general of Pakistan to send a representative to the court on the matter but no one from the federal government appeared in the court on Thursday which questioned the court’s dignity. The judge said if a representative of the federation did not appear in the court on September 22, the court would start ex-arte proceedings, with the assistance of amicus curie lawyers and give its verdict on the case. The judge ordered that notices be issued against the federation and the attorney general for the next hearing. The court was hearing a petition filed by Allah Buksh Gondal through A K Dogar submitting that the PM had committed treason and subversion of the constitution by deliberately defying orders by the Supreme Court in many sensitive cases including the National Reconciliation Ordinance, re-opening of Zardari’s Swiss accounts, corruption cases and appointments on key posts. The petitioner contended that the PM, as chief executive, was under oath to protect the constitution and the organs functioning under it. The petitioner requested the court for the PM’s disqualification and directives to register high treason cases against him under Section 37 and Article 6 of the constitution because he had subverted the constitution by wilfully not executing the judiciary’s orders.