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PM Gilani Disqualifies Over Contempt Charge (Supreme Court)

Posted by on Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 16:18
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The Supreme Court (SC) declared the Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani as disqualified from his top office as premier after his conviction over contempt charges.PM Gilani Disqualifies

Reading out the short verdict after completion of hearing of numerous identical petitions filed against National Assembly Speaker’s ruling over the PM Gilani’s conviction over contempt of court, the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry directed Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to issue a notification in this regard as the Prime Minister Gilani stands as ineligible since April 26.

The court directed President Asif Ali Zardari to appoint new leader of the house as he (Gilani) has been disqualified as even the member of the National Assembly as a result of punishment.

“The arrangements for the elections of new Prime Minister should be made forthwith.”

Saying that the executive is not authorized to scrutinize the rulings of Supreme Court (SC), Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry said no authority but appellate court can stay the implementation on the court’s rulings.

Heading a three-member bench hearing numerous constitutional petitions filed against National Assembly Speaker’s ruling over conviction of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani by the apex court, the Chief Justice Chaudhry said, “Where will the independence of judiciary go if the executive examines the ruling of a seven-judge bench. The disqualification could have been delayed some further, had Gilani appealed.”

Attorney General of Pakistan Irfan Qadir, in his arguments today, read out a resolution adopted by National Assembly in support of the Speaker’s ruling.

The resolution says the speaker represents the Parliament, its prestige and sacredness. The Parliament will nullify any order if the court issues it. The resolution also endorses the ruling of May 25.

Justice Khilji Arif Hussain queried, ‘What was the need of a separate resolution if the speaker’s ruling is taken as a step of the Parliament?’

Replying to this, the AG Irfan said it was feared that the apex court may issue an illegal order like the one by seven-member bench, adding the verdict of seven-judge bench stands in conflict with Article-248 of the Constitution, under which the Prime Minister enjoys immunity.

The AG Qadir, whose brazen remarks triggered a massive commotion during one of the previous hearings, continued with remarks, saying, “Supreme Court could have written on its own to Swiss officials. The summon issued to Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani was also an unconstitutional one.”

“However, the PM Gilani appeared before the court as he wanted to save the judiciary any ridicule. But, the PM Gilani was derided through a piece of poetry in the ruling.”

The Chief Justice Chaudhry said, ‘You should have raised the issue in appeal.’ But, the AG said there was no need for that, wondering as to how the PM Gilani was penalized given that there is no contempt law in the country.

Azhar Siddique’s counsel AK Dogar said the court had already held that the executive will work in consonance with the Constitution.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s counsel Hamid Khan said the rule by a convicted premier impacted the rights under Articles-17 and 25 of the Constitution, adding the court frequently acknowledged the right to access the justice; but, the NA speaker impeded the process.

The Chief Justice Chaudhry said if the court holds someone insane, then speaker needs not ponder over it, adding determination of insanity or conviction depends upon the court’s ruling.

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