Pakistan top court verdict may prove Prime Minister’s disqualification

Pakistan top court verdict may prove Prime Minister’s disqualification

Islamabad : Pakistan | May 08, 2012 at 8:17 AM PDT
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Prime Minister Of Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gilani Convicted By Supreme Court Of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, May 08: The Supreme Court of Pakistan finally comes up with its detailed verdict in slapping contempt conviction against Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani after finding him guilty for willfully and deliberately defying its direction on sending letter to Swiss authorities to re-open cases against president Asif Ali Zardari in alleged graft cases.

The decision over fate of the Prime Minister comes at time when he is undertaking an official visit to UK amid political uproar.

Justice Nasirul Mulk who headed the bench and handed over short order on April 26, also authored the detailed judgment which was made public on Tuesday.

The judgement particularly touched the legal consequences leading to Prime Minister’s disqualification from the member of parliament for five years as punishment.

It says “by virtues of the provisions of the clauses (g) and (h) of Article 63(1) read with Article 113 of the Constitution, a possible conviction on such a charge may entail a disqualification from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) or a Provincial Assembly for at least five years.”

The Justice writes that the accused being highest Executive functionary of the State of Pakistan willfully, deliberately and persistently defied a clear direction of the highest Court of the country.

The Court held that it was satisfied that such clear and persistent defiance at such a high level constituted contempt ‘which is substantially detrimental to the administration of justice and tends not only to bring this court but also the judiciary of the country into ridicule.’

The court says if orders or directions of the highest court of the country are defied by the highest Executive of the country then others in the country may also feel tempted to follow the example.

“This could lead to a collapse or paralysis of administration of justice besides creating an atmosphere wherein judicial authority and verdicts are laughed at and ridiculed,” the court adds.

Responding to Gilani and ruling party’s PPP leaders interpretation of Court’s short order, Justice Mulk says the executive authority may question a court's decision through the judicial process provided for in the Constitution and the law but is not entitled to flout it because it believes it to be inconsistent with the law or the Constitution.

It makes it clear that interpretation of the law is the exclusive domain of the judiciary.

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Afghanistan's President Karzai and Pakistan's PM Gilani  take part in a meeting with their delegations at the prime minister's residence in Islamabad
Afghanistan's President Karzai and Pakistan's PM Gilani take part in a meeting with their delegations at the prime minister's residence in Islamabad
Erfan khan is based in Islamabad, Federal Capital Area, Pakistan, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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