LHC judge recuses himself from bench hearing Musharraf, Zardari's pleas

LHC chief justice informs petitioners' counsels a new bench will be constituted


Rana Yasif September 20, 2021

LAHORE:

Lahore High Court’s (LHC) senior puisne judge Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan recused himself on Monday from a full bench hearing petitions of former presidents Gen Pervez Musharraf, Asif Ali Zardari and former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.

A three-member bench headed by LHC’s Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti was hearing these cases.

The petitions, filed around 10 years ago, were being heard by different benches earlier. They pertained to the emergency imposed by former president Gen Pervez Musharraf, former president Asif Ali Zardari’s act of pardoning Rehman Malik and different petitions concerning disqualification of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.

The matters remained pending in the LHC, and after a long spell Justice Bhatti constituted a new bench. Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan and Justice Shujaat Ali Khan were the other two members.

As the proceedings commenced, CJ Bhatti remarked that the most senior member of the bench did not want to become a part of the bench. Although all petitions were infructuous, but an appropriate order could not be passed, he added.

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The LHC CJ informed the petitioners' counsels that a new bench will be constituted.

On February 12, an Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, recused himself from further hearing a petition filed by former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general Lt Gen (retd) Asad Durrani, seeking removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL).

Justice Kayani remarked that he knew the whole background of the case and was also close to penning the verdict, but was forwarding the case to IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah.

"It is unfortunate, but there are reasons I don’t want to share,” he said while explaining to the court his withdrawal from the case.

He said, “The [IHC] chief justice will form a new bench to hear the case.

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