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Lahore HC issues contempt case notice to Zardari secretary

Lahore: A court has issued a notice to the principal secretary to President Asif Ali Zardari in response to a contempt of court petition filed against the President for not giving up his political office of the chief of the Pakistan People`s Party.

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial issued the notice yesterday and observed that a larger bench should hear the case because it has raised important legal questions. "A larger bench will be constituted to proceed further with the matter," he said.

Lawyer A K Dogar, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, argued that the court should summon Zardari to explain his position as the Supreme Court had summoned former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani in a contempt of court case.

The Chief Justice said the court had issued a notice to the President`s principal secretary and would make a decision after the official submitted his reply. The High Court adjourned the matter till June 27.

Lawyer Muhammad Azhar Siddique filed the petition, in which he said that Zardari had not disassociated himself from his political office as soon as possible in keeping with an order issued by the Lahore High Court on the President holding dual offices.

Siddique alleged that directions issued by the court had not been obeyed and the President had not stopped "misusing" the presidency for the activities of the PPP.

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