JI Deputy Secretary Dr Fareed Ahmad Paracha filed the petition, stating that the president had been carrying out political activities as the state head as well as a political party chief. The petitioner said the meetings of PPP core committee had been held at the President’s House and expenses had been spent from public exchequer.
He said the LHC full bench directed the president on May 12, 2011, to disassociate himself from the office of political party at the earliest, but the respondent had disobeyed the order and the Constitution, as well. The petitioner appealed to the court to declare that the respondent as head of a political party was not qualified at the time of his nomination for election of the president.
He maintained the ‘deliberate’ insistence of president as the head of a political party despite the court order and in violation of the oath under article 42 called for legal action for disobedience of the Constitution that attracted article 6 of the Constitution in light of recent judgment passed by the Supreme Court in the Asghar Khan case.
The petitioner requested the court to set aside the proviso in section 3 of the high treason (Punishment) Act 1973 which empowers the federal government only to initiate proceedings under article 6 of the Constitution being in violation of fundamental rights of access to justice.
Separately, the LHC adjourned the hearing of a petition for contempt of court case against President Zardari until November 7. A five-member bench, comprising LHC Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh, Justice Sheikh Najam ul Hasan, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, heard the petition court filed by Muneer Ahmad Khan against President Asif Ali Zardari for defying the court order in dual office case.
As the proceedings started, Additional Attorney General Abdul Haye Gilani told the court Waseem Sajjad, counsel for the federation, had filed application for adjournment since the Supreme Court Bar elections were being held on Wednesday. He requested the bench to adjourn the hearing.
The petitioner's counsel, AK Dogar, criticised the adjournment request and said that Waseem Sajjad was neither a candidate nor supporter of any contestant and he could cast his vote in Lahore as well. Dogar, however, said that he had no objection if the matter would be adjourned for a few days. The petitioner had contended the president had not disassociated himself from the political office, as expected in a verdict given by the LHC in the dual office case in May.