LAHORE – Legal experts have said that a public office-holder cannot continue his responsibilities if the Supreme Court convicts him in any case including contempt proceedings.

They were talking to The Nation on an issue, ‘Can a public office-holder retain his position if convicted by the SC and pardoned by the President of Pakistan?’. Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed said that conviction would stand even if President pardoned the criminal convicted by Supreme Court. And, the convict cannot maintain the duties of a public office, he said.

However, if the convict continues despite the SC orders and pardoned by the President, the apex court could take action against him, he added. ‘According to Constitution, President cannot set aside the conviction awarded by SC. The President can only set aside the disqualification of a convict’,Wajih stated.

Senior Lawyer Khalid Ranjah Advocate has also agreed with Wajih and said conviction awarded by SC could not be set aside by President. ‘Despite pardon by the President, a convict cannot resume his public office’,Ranjha stressed. Advocate Abid Minto was of the view that President of Pakistan has no authority to set aside the conviction awarded by SC to any public office-holder.