Prime Minister of Pakistan Stands Disqualified: SC

Supreme Court of Pakistan

Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled Speaker National Assembly Fehmida Mirza’s ruling as void and declared that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani stood disqualified since April 26, DawnNews reported.

A three-member bench, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain heard a set of constitutional petitions challenging National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza’s ruling over the reference against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The bench had been hearing a set of petitions filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI), Azhar Chaudhry advocate and others challenging the speaker’s ruling of May 24 over the qualification issue.

During today’s hearing, Attorney General Irfan Qadir presented in court the National Assembly’s resolution endorsing the speaker’s ruling. The resolution had been moved by the government and was adopted by the NA on June 14.

“We respect the courts, however, state institutions should try to avoid clash amongst themselves,” the attorney general said.

Upon which the chief justice remarked that the judiciary respected the parliament and that there was no clash between the state’s institutions.

Justice Khilji remarked that the court’s duty was to interpret the law and the constitution and to stop all measures which violate these.

Qadir said that if the court issued an order against the speaker’s ruling, the parliament would declare it invalid.

The prime minister is not answerable to the courts over the dispensation of his professional duties, the attorney general said.

The attorney general said that the court had violated Article 248 of the Constitution and that he feared that the court may issue “another ruling which could be against the law”.

Qadir reiterated that the verdict of the seven judge bench in the contempt of court case against Prime Minister Gilani was unconstitutional.

There is no law in the country which addresses the issue of contempt of court, said the attorney general.

Justice Khilji remarked that the attorney general should provide evidence for his claim that the country had no law to address contempt of court.

The prime minister’s summoning in court was also against the law, Qadir said.

Furthermore, Qadir said that the immunity which the office of the President enjoyed could only be eliminated by the parliament.

He moreover said that the Supreme Court’s ruling ridiculed the prime minister through poetry adding that he would not support any verdict which would be unconstitutional.

Chief Justice Iftikhar said that the attorney general’s job was to assist the court and that the bench was noting down the arguments that he was making before it. Dawn.com

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