LAHORE – The Lahore High Court on Tuesday sought replies from top politicians along with affidavits consisting statements about assets and payment of taxes.

Justice Muhammad Khalid Mahmood Khan issued the notices to Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, his ex-wife Jemima Goldsmith Khan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and his wife, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, his wife Kulsum Nawaz, son Hussain Nawaz, Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, President Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, PML-Z chief Ijazul Haq, PML-Q’s leader Humayun Akhtar Khan, Faisal Salah Hayat, PML-Q’s Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Pervez Elahi, Sindh Governor Ishratul Abbad, former Punjab governor Mustafa Khar, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Malana Fazalur Rehman, former army chief Parvez Musharaf, PPP’s Senator Aitzaz Ahsan and his wife and a property magnate Malik Riaz Hussain.

The court issued the orders on a petition moved by Advocate Javed Iqbal Jafree. The petitioner alleged the Sharif Family laundered money nearly thousands of US dollars and bought huge properties in abroad. Their companies like Ittefaq Foundry had also going bankrupt. Likewise, President Asif Ali Zardari had also transferred nearly $300billions to foreign banks by employing different techniques for collecting the money.

The petitioner-lawyer requested the court to bar the respondents from contesting elections in light of Article 2A, 3, 62 and 63 of constitution of Pakistan if they do not submit timely affidavits to the court. 

He also requested the court to issue directions to Federal Board of Revenue to make quick recoveries from the respondents after thorough investigating their tax details and evasions, if any, by them. Fixing April 09 as next date of hearing on the petition, the court directed the all the aforesaid respondents to submit their statements along with affidavits within two weeks.

REPLY SOUGHT: The Lahore High Court chief justice sought reply  from Punjab Housing Foundation on a petition challenging cancellation of allotment of houses to the retired government employees.  Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial directed the respondent foundation to file the reply till March 28 on a petition moved by many of the retired employees.

They submitted that the provincial government had allotted houses to them on installment basis. However, the allotment had been cancelled when they had not paid lump-sum arrears at the time of their retirement, the petitioners added.

They requested the court to suspend the cancellation of allotment of houses by declaring it violation of fundamental rights.

Appearing on behalf of the housing foundation, Advocate Anum Saleem informed the court that the allotment of the houses was cancelled after the violation of rules and regulations by the petitioners. The court adjourned hearing till March 28 and directed the respondent to file detailed reply on the petition.

DISMISSED: The LHC dismissed a civil miscellaneous application seeking disqualification of President Asif Ali Zardari in view of Supreme Court’s in Asghar Khan case.  Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh dismissed the fresh application stating an application of similar prayer was already pending in the main constitutional petition moved by Jamat-i-Islami against political office of President Asif Ali Zardari.

Deputy Secretary of JI Dr Fareed Ahmad Pracha had submitted in the main petition that the President from day one had been persistently carrying on political activities as head of state as well as head of political party.

The petitioner sought a declaration that the President suffered from pre-election disqualification on account of retaining office of the political party at the time of filing nomination papers for the presidential election. In his arguments on Tuesday, petitioner’s counsel AK Dogar requested the court to grant relief by saying the matter was being delayed unnecessarily.

He pleaded that the ‘deliberate’ insistence of President as head of a political party in spite of clear command of the court and in violation of the oath under Article 42 called for legal action for disobedience of the Constitution which attracts Article 6 of the Constitution in light of recent judgment passed by the Supreme Court in Asghar Khan case.

ADMITTED:  The LHC  accepted to hear a petition, by removing objection, seeking appointment of judges in high courts through written test and interview.

Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh heard the petition as an objection case and admitted it for regular hearing. The registrar office had put the objection by mentioning that the petition was not maintainable.

Advancing arguments on Tuesday, petitioner’s lawyer AK Dogor said the objection was a violation of fundamental rights of the people of Pakistan especially of the legal fraternity who want to be judge of high court. He requested the court to remove the objection and start regular hearing of the petition.

The court accepted his request by over ruling the objection and admitting the petition for regular hearing.

The registrar office would fix the date of hearing on the petition. The Lawyers Foundation through its President Syed Feroz Shah Gilani moved the petition by submitting the appointment of judges in high courts and Supreme Court without conducting written and psychology test and interview was a violation of merit.

LAW SECY CALLED: The court  summoned joint secretary of law ministry on a petition seeking disqualification of two members of appellate tribunal Inland Revenue working despite lacking disqualification and undertaking to resign.

Justice Nasir Saaed Sheikh passed the order on the petition of Waheed Shahzad Butt advocate challenging appointment of both members Shahid Jamil Khan and Ch Munir Sadiq.

The court also sought explanation from secretary of law ministry and chairman Federal public service commission to withdraw resignation of both members.

The petitioner submitted appointments of members of Tribunal being regulated in accordance with sub-section (3) of section 130 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 and Article 193 of the Constitution which says a person may be appointed as judicial member of the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue, if the person is qualified to be a judge of the High Court and a person shall not be appointed a judge of a High Court unless he is a citizen of Pakistan, in not less than forty five years of age.