Dual office case: LHC to decide on presidential immunity
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) bench hearing the case of dual offices held by President Asif Ali Zardari decided on Thursday to focus on the question of presidential immunity before issuing any order, DawnNews reported.
The bench led by LHC Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial resumed the hearing of the case.
While presenting his argument, the petitioner, Advocate A.K. Dogar, said that former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was removed from his post for committing contempt of court. He further said that similarly President Zardari should also be issued a notice for contempt of court.
The counsel for the government, Wasim Sajjad told the court that the president was immune to court proceedings, due to which, he could not be charged with contempt of court.
He added that the court had not ordered the president to leave his dual offices but rather only expressed expectations that he would leave one of the held offices.
The bench remarked that it was later clarified that the court’s orders should be implemented. However, the question of whether the president has immunity or not must be decided first.
Subsequently, the court adjourned the hearing until Friday.
Speaking to media representatives after the hearing, Wasim Sajjad said that the president could not be charged on the basis of the expression of the bench’s expectations. Therefore, no appeal was filed since the bench’s decision appeared ambiguous.
He further added that a decision that could be interpreted in two different ways did not come into the category of contempt of court.