Pak SC to pronounce verdict in Musharraf case on Friday

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Islamabad, Oct 31 (UNI) The Pakistan Supreme Court will pronounce on Friday its verdict on petitions challenging President Pervez Musharraf's candidacy to contest the October 6 Presidential poll.

Justice Javed Iqbal, head of the 11-judge bench hearing the petitions, said as a member of the bench would not be available next week, the matter will be decided by Friday.

He also directed Attorney General Malik Qayyum to conclude his arguments today.

The Bench observed that the country was hanging in balance between the Parliamentary and the Presidential forms of governance.

Presidential candidates Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed and senior Pakistan People's Party leader Makhdoom Amin Fahim had challenged the validation of nomination papers of Gen Musharraf by the Chief Election Commissioner for the Presidential election.

During yesterday's hearing Mr A K Dogar, counsel for Dr Anwar-ul-Haq, a presidential candidate whose nomination papers were rejected, submitted before the bench that the present assembly cannot elect the president because it was against the democratic norms.

He, however, added that the assembly was empowered to elect another President in case the incumbent resigns, dies or impeached.

''If a person is charged with violation of the Constitution, should he be allowed to contest the election for the office of the President,'' Mr Dogar was quoted by The News as asking.

He contended that the law regarding dual offices of the President was ultra vires as it contradicts Article 63-(1) (d) of the Constitution and no subordinate law can overrule the Constitutional law.

Mr Dogar argued that the 17th Amendment came into force on December 31, 2003 and it allowed suspension of Article 63-1 (d).

He asked that how can Parliament make a law under an Article which is not operative.


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