Islamabad : The Supreme Court Friday dismissed constitutional petitions against the holding of two offices by President General Pervez Musharraf, clearing the way for him to contest the forthcoming presidential election in uniform.
A nine-member bench ruled by majority of six to three that the petitions were not maintainable under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution, which relates to matters of public importance.
The head of the bench Justice Rana Bhagwandas and two other judges, Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan and Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, dissented with the majority and held the petitions maintainable.
Six members of the bench—Justice Javed Iqbal, Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, Justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi, Justice Faqir Muhammad Khokhar, Justice Falak Sher and Justice M.Javed Buttar—held the petitions to be “not maintainable” under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution.
The petitions were filed by Jamaat-e-Islami, its Ameer Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Imran Khan and Pakistan Lawyers Forum. The nine-member bench was constituted by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
The bench heard the case for two weeks during which counsels from both sides presented their arguments and the President’s counsel Sharifuddin Pirzada submitted a short statement in which the President pledged that if re-elected he would doff the uniform before taking oath for new term.
During the more than two-hour session in the morning the bench heard views of Amicus Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, Muhammad Akram Sheikh, counsel of Jamaat-e-Islami, Hamid Khan, counsel of Imran Khan and A.K.Dogar, counsel of Pakistan Lawyers Forum.
The bench then retired into the commitee room after announcing that the judges would come back at 2.15 p.m to give a short order. But the bench resumed after a 70-minute delay.
“For reasons to be recorded later, as per majority view of 6:3, these petitions are held to be not maintainable within contemplation of Article 184(3) of the Constitution,” the order said.
The constitutional petition of Dr Anwarul Haq was disallowed to the extent of seeking permission to contest the election to the office of President.