The Lahore High Court (LHC) issued a fresh notice to President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday, seeking his reply regarding a contempt of court petition against him for continuing as Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman in violation of a court order.
A four-member bench, headed by LHC Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, in its written order, sent through the President’s principal secretary, observed that the president should arrange representation through counsel in these proceedings. It added that any objection to proceedings by the respondent’s counsel should be filed in writing and be heard in the hearing on September 14.
While Advocate Wasim Sajjad appeared before the court on behalf of the federation, CJ Bandial held it was appropriate to hear the Attorney General Irfan Qadir’s statement first.
At this, the petitioner’s counsel Advocate AK Dogar requested that the bench listen to his client first. He also maintained the Attorney General could not represent the president and only assist the court on behalf of the federation.
Meanwhile, Deputy Attorney General Abdul Hayee Gilani asked the court to excuse Qadir’s absence since he was appearing before the Supreme Court’s Quetta Registry on Wednesday.
The petition was moved against the president for holding political office and continuing political activities in violation of an order by a full bench of the LHC. It was maintained that the use of the Presidency for partisan political activities was not only illegal but also against court orders.
Counsels had intended to seek a show-cause notice against President Zardari during Wednesday’s proceedings, arguing that LHC had already given the respondent ample time for explaining his stance.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2012.