SC adjourns Musharraf re-election case till Monday

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Islamabad, Oct 18 (UNI) The 11-member bench of the Pakistan Supreme Court hearing petitions against the legality of President General Pervez Musharraf's October 6 election will give a verdict within two weeks, the head of the bench Justice Javed Iqbal said today after a three-hour session.

The hearing has been adjourned till October 22.

The 11 judge bench earlier rejected the plea of Ch.Aitzaz Ahsan, counsel of Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed regarding the adjournment of the case till the announcement of detailed judgement in constitutional petitions of Imran Khan, Jamaat-e-Islami and others.

''The case can not be lingered on for indefinite time as it is a high profile case and we want to finish this case in 10 to 12 days,'' Justice Javed Iqbal said, pointing out that one member of the bench has proceeded on leave abroad.

Justice Javed Iqbal had also headed the bench that dismissed constitutional petitions of Imran Khan, Jamaat-e-Islami and others by a majority 6-3 judgment, said that detailed judgment in that case would be announced within a few days.

The counsel for justice (Retd) Wajihuddin raised a number of questions about the qualification of the president to contest the election and said that the present assemblies were not competent to elect a president for the next five years.

''The election of the president was held on a date, which was constitutionally premature,'' argued the counsel.

The President has not fulflled the promise counsel apprised he made in his address to the nation on December 23, 2003 regarding shedding his uniform, added Ch Aitaz Ahsan.

The bench asked the counsel to submit record of that speech in the court, reported Geo TV.

He refered to various judgements of the Supreme Court in support of his contention that serving army personnel could not take part in politics.

Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar observed that President Musharraf had committed to relinquish the post of army chief before starting his new term and asked the counsel whether he wanted the President to retain the uniform.

Aitzaz Ahsan said that public pressure will force the President to doff the uniform.

''It was the parliament which had authorized the President to hold two offices,''contended Justice Javed Iqbal hearing the petition from the counsel.

UNI

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