LAHORE - Executive Committee of the Punjab Bar Council (PbBC) Wednesday annulled the June 6 last elections for the president office of the Lahore High Court Bar Association and announced to conduct fresh polls for the same slot under its own supervision on July 11. The Executive Committee of the Bar, which met under the chairmanship of Arif Kamal Noon, through a short order on the appeal moved by Munawar Iqbal Gondal, also held that the Vice President cannot take over as President if the presidential slot becomes vacant due to any reason. After hearing counsel from both the parties, the Committee set aside the June 6 elections wherein Justice (r) Nasira Iqbal had emerged victorious as President. The said elections were conducted through a nine-member committee of the former Presidents of Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) after this committee had also constituted an election board. Counsel for Nasira Iqbal, Ahmad Awais advocate commenting on the decision said that the Executive Committee has vindicated their point of view where vice president cannot assume charge of the president in the absence of elected president under the Lahore High Court Bar rules. He said their stand has been accepted by the Committee. He said the Committee appreciated our contention that rules have to take precedent over traditions in the event of vacancy of President slot. He said they had asked the Committee that they would not mind if fresh elections were held although the election on June 6 were also fully transparent and fair. The appellant Munawar Iqbal Gondal, who had elevated himself to Presidentship of the Bar following appointment of Justice M A Shahid Siddiqui, said that his viewpoint had been conceded by the Committee that June 6 last elections were unconstitutional and illegal. However, he said, as to accepting the decision or moving appeal against it before the Pakistan Bar Council would be decided after consultation with the friends and supporters. The Punjab Bar Council Executive Committee said it would constitute the elections board and supervise the same. As to the question of its jurisdiction, which was raised by the respondent side, he said that it had the jurisdiction to intervene in the affairs of the Bar Association. The Committee announced July 11 for holding fresh election for the President of the Lahore High Court Bar. It may be mentioned here that in the wake of appointment of Justice Siddiqui at the Supreme Court, a controversy erupted in the Bar after Gondal elevated himself from Vice President office to the President following the years long traditions of the Bar. However, this move was not accepted by all the members on the basis of a letter from Justice Siddiqui wherein he had stressed on holding fresh election because during his short stint as Bar President, he could not constitute executive committee, which following the old traditions had to name a new vice president in case the elected Vice President becomes the President. The tussle between the two groups of lawyers aggravated when various resolutions were moved for and against holding of the fresh elections and on many occasions, the General House lost order and turned unruly after which a group held separate meeting and announced formation of a committee of ex-presidents which later on met and held the election which Mr Gondal challenged before the Punjab Bar Council. The subsequent scene appeared unpleasant to majority of the lawyers when the Bar stood divided under the banner of two LHCBA committees headed by Justice (r) Nasira Iqbal and Gondal and both were incomplete due to division of Secretary and the Finance departments between them. Tension in the Bar climaxed on June 18 when both the groups held their Executive Committee meetings at the same time and the place, which brought both the parties to a physical clash.