LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday disposed of a petition seeking removal of Munawwar Gondal from LHC Bar Associations president office and hold fresh election, observing that the controversy should be resolved amicably to save the prestige of 150 years old institution. The court said the writ petition (Quo Warranto) under article 199 of the constitution was only competent against the public functionaries and since there was no government official involved in the case it was not maintainable in the eyes of law. Justice Mian Saqib Nisar went on to say, I apprehend that if the matter was not settled amicably the situation would further worsened in the Bar. It is important to recall that the LHCBA have seen rumpus on numerous occasions since MA Shahid Siddiqui left the office after his elevation to the Supreme Court. Former presidents of the Bar are insisting on holding fresh election while Gondal and his supporters oppose the proposal. Finally Shawar Khilji Advocate had approached the LHC to seek directions for fresh election. The court further remarked that referendum was a good option to end the controversy, the suggestion, which had been turned down by Gondal. The judge further said, I feel pain for the fact brought to court and the allegations levelled against each other that undoubtedly had damaged the dignity and honour of the institution. The judge observed that as per correct interpretation of Rules 20 read with Rule 21 of LHCBA it was very much clear that the vacant office of president had to be filled by fresh election for the remaining tenure, which, in my opinion should be held within one month. Importantly, this interpretation has frankly conceded by Gondals counsel. Justice Mian Saqib further said he was convinced with arguments that over 150 years the vacant office was filled by the vice-president, a tradition subservient to Rule 20. In case of any conflict, the two rules shall prevail, he added. He said a suggestion for referendum was floated but Gondals counsel did not accede it without any reasons. The members of the Bar should sit together and try to find a solution otherwise possibility of colossal damage to dignity and grandeur of the institution could not be ruled out. He also regretted the fact that the decision of former presidents of LHCBA including retired judges had been discarded with indignity and insult.