NRO implementation case: Gilani in the dock

Published: January 16, 2012

Apex court directs Gilani to appear personally before the bench on January 19. DESIGN: EMA ANIS

ISLAMABAD: We are left with no other option but to issue Prime Minister Gilani with a show-cause notice for explaining why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him…

It was on the cards. But the impact of its eventual arrival was still intense.

Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq appeared stunned.

The incumbents received another hit on Monday after the Supreme Court issued Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani a contempt of court notice during the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) implementation case hearing.

The seven-judge bench of the SC ordered the prime minister to appear before the court on January 19.

PM Gilani had failed to comply with the Supreme Court’s order issued on December 16, 2009, for sending a request to Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, the bench noted.

Justice Nasirul Mulk, who is heading the bench, had asked the attorney general to state if he had any reservations regarding the six options the court had spelled out for itself to exercise in the wake of the non-compliance – at which point the attorney general informed the bench that he had received no instructions from the prime minister on how to proceed in the case.

“I do know that consultations on the case continued till late night. However, I was not given any instructions until 2:00 am, when I switched off my mobile,” he said.

Later the same day, however, Prime Minister Gilani, while speaking on the floor of the house, said he would appear before the court on January 19.

Past and present

In the past, former premier Nawaz Sharif received a contempt of court notice for criticising former chief justice Sajjad Ali.

Under Article 63 of the Constitution, the prime minister could potentially face a ban on contesting elections for up to five years if convicted in the contempt proceedings, prominent jurist Hamid Khan told The Express Tribune.

Issued under the Contempt of Court Act 2003, coupled with Article 204 of the Constitution, the government has the option of challenging the show-cause notice through an intra court appeal (ICA), Khan said.

According to the law, contempt proceedings against any person remain suspended until a larger bench — other than the bench that issued the notice — decides the ICA.

NAB chairman

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari’s counsel Justice (retd) Shaiq Usmani informed the bench that his client was misadvised on how to proceed against those whose conviction stood restored after the NRO judgment. On the last date of hearing, the court had found Bokhari’s attitude to be contumacious and his statement in defiance of the court order.

Bokhari had refused to proceed against Adnan Khwaja and Ahmed Riaz Sheikh, who were appointed in violation of the NRO verdict as managing director of the OGDCL and additional director of the FIA. He had also refused to act against former attorney general Malik Muhammad Qayyum, who wrote a letter to the Swiss authorities for withdrawing money-laundering cases against Zardari.

NAB Prosecutor General KK Agha also admitted that he had given wrong advice to the chairman for he had misinterpreted the court order.

The proceedings will resume on January 19.

(Read: A testing time)

Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (52)

  • Hafiz Shah Ali
    Jan 16, 2012 - 10:52AM

    So according to the Attorney General, Memo issue was more important than NRO case.
    What can one say about this government……..totally disappointed.

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  • zehra
    Jan 16, 2012 - 10:56AM

    another delaying tactic by the government.

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  • Hassan
    Jan 16, 2012 - 12:00PM

    Now that funny :)

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  • Mirza
    Jan 16, 2012 - 12:05PM

    It was the duty of PCO CJ to tell the AG which case was more important and where should he go first. The CJ told AG to go to the bench and ask them? Who has formed both the benches and they put hearings at the same time and same day? Yet it is not their fault!

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  • MAHER ALI
    Jan 16, 2012 - 12:10PM

    But Govt has said that Memo is nothing but a piece of paper…..

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  • jai zardari
    Jan 16, 2012 - 12:47PM

    supreem court has nothing to do with the common man .itbis a play grounds for the rich and poltical class
    the common man has stood up to the court today ,this court has been used by Army many times to de rail democracy
    today it has been shown its place
    well done gilani
    beat the establishment

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  • Acorn Guts
    Jan 16, 2012 - 12:50PM

    An acting prime minister (chief executive and representative of the people) is held in contempt of court. A new low for us?

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  • Mahmood
    Jan 16, 2012 - 1:05PM

    Blah – meaningless. The Supreme Court keeps issuing verdicts and shows no mandate to execute on them. nothing here again

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  • Hafiz Shah Ali
    Jan 16, 2012 - 1:19PM

    PM and the rest who have defied the orders of Hon Supreme Court should be held in contempt and disqualified for failing to keep his oath on protection of the Constitution.

    I fully support the Hon Supreme Court

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  • Afaaq
    Jan 16, 2012 - 1:26PM

    Lets get this over with please.

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  • Light
    Jan 16, 2012 - 1:26PM

    sorry for typo in last comment :)

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  • S
    Jan 16, 2012 - 1:34PM

    Sad state of affairs! Shame on our PM!

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  • Syed Imran
    Jan 16, 2012 - 1:36PM

    Now Gillani must be sent home with restriction that he cannot hold any public office in future

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  • ahmad
    Jan 16, 2012 - 1:39PM

    When will we ever see a retired general in supreme court. If this happens someone please shoot me.

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  • Ammar
    Jan 16, 2012 - 1:43PM

    Wasn’t Mr. Khosa part of the bench that acquitted Malik Ishaq?

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  • Concerned
    Jan 16, 2012 - 2:09PM

    The Ultimate result of the PPP Govt’s playing tactics with SC…

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  • UFF
    Jan 16, 2012 - 2:09PM

    Reverse counting starts ….Now! 10, 9,……..
    And no. of Cases will be reopen! 01, 02,…..

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  • Ahmad
    Jan 16, 2012 - 2:13PM

    I think Prime Minister and the President should resign to clear the mess.

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  • Farhan Gilgiti
    Jan 16, 2012 - 2:20PM

    When will the CJ start showing “interest” in hearing of the cases against ISI, filed by Air Martial Asghar Khan?

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  • Jan 16, 2012 - 2:23PM

    Delay Delay & just Delay

    This is our Country

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  • hi
    Jan 16, 2012 - 2:29PM

    hmm

    i still feel asghar khan case should be taken up by supreme court as well

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  • hi
    Jan 16, 2012 - 2:32PM

    CJ should take up asghan khan’s case aswell.
    otherwise ppp will continue to say they are treated impartially. PPP should not be given a chance to claim ” siaisi martydom”

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  • PP (Punjabi Pakistani)
    Jan 16, 2012 - 3:05PM

    @Farhan Gilgiti:
    NEVER…
    long live ISI long live ARMY and long live its pakistanRecommend

  • Truth
    Jan 16, 2012 - 3:32PM

    @Mirza: Looks like you work for the govt to spread lies and deceive masses. Tribune has been pretty generous to publish your comments no matter how incorrect these are.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 16, 2012 - 3:56PM

    No comments.

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  • Kamran
    Jan 16, 2012 - 3:58PM

    A contempt of court notice to PM means nothing. he will be dismised for not following the law. If he say ” Main nahi manta ” so in which law he is the PM?

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  • dv sikka
    Jan 16, 2012 - 4:03PM

    This is a good development. This will ultimately show if the SC has the back bone to stand on its legs. This is a good sign that there is an institution that will give a hope of a better Pakistan tomorrow. Time Pakistan had an honest government that will make it prosperous, my best wishes.

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  • TruthNFacts
    Jan 16, 2012 - 4:33PM

    The history of deep collaboration between military establishment and supreme court is being repeated once again. This is merely a demonstration of those ties between two INSTITUTIONS that are still active, alive, and strong.

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  • Jan 16, 2012 - 4:39PM

    This is nothing but the Judiciary over riding the Executive. The President or Prime Minister of a sovereign democratic nation need not attend any courts. If Judiciary wants an explanation from or investigation on the above Executive Heads, it should send a questionnaire to the persons to submit the answers on oath. What about the judges who bent backwards and forwards during Musharraf’s rule and what action taken on them.Recommend

  • TruthNFacts
    Jan 16, 2012 - 5:30PM

    I wonder which institutions of our unfortunate country have a long history of dishonesty, corruption, and for failing to keep oath on protection of the constitution. Do I need to list all the events from our chequered political history to support my claim? Do I need to mention the names of honourable judges whose malicious deeds ruined the entire country to support my argument? Do I need to mention the names of those honourable judges who took oath on PCO and granted dictator the right to amend Pakistan’s Constitution? A lot can be stated about the dark history of verdicts issued by Pakistan’s SC on this another dark day, but to no avail.

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  • Hate Zardari
    Jan 16, 2012 - 6:14PM

    @jai zardari:

    But Court had to take this step and all the literate and sensible citizen belive that it is true decision in order to get rid of the most corrupt incompetent president and prime minister on this planet. Recommend

  • Jan 16, 2012 - 6:25PM

    @Sajid Hussain: Sahib ji in Pakistan every one is on top of the civil government i seriously mean every one. So please relax and enjoy the history unfolding itself in all colours.

    Recommend

  • Im
    Jan 16, 2012 - 6:44PM

    Mr CJ, when you are done playing ‘hide n seek’, can we please move on to the other 10,316 pending cases since 1954, please?

    Oh! And by the way once you have re-opened all 5,031 NRO cases, please let us know how many decades will you need to finish hearing them. Thanks

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  • relevant
    Jan 16, 2012 - 6:52PM

    “All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players;
    They have their exits and their entrances,
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    His acts being seven ages”.

    all are same. even our so called “AZAAD ADLIYA” is part of the game.
    May Allah save our future from these evils…

    Regards,
    citizen of a sleeping nation.

    Recommend

  • Mushy
    Jan 16, 2012 - 6:57PM

    Dear Readers,

    Mr.Kaira is saying that Mr.Yousef Raza will appear before Apex Court because he represents People of Pakistan.

    My question to him is that.. if he is right Mr PM represents masses then Court issued court of Contempt notice against him..?
    He preferred loyalty to his party not to constitution.. had he been representing people of Pakistan he would have done what he was advised by the courts..so he does not represent Pakistan but his corrupt party..

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Jan 16, 2012 - 7:53PM

    If the govt. Resolves at the floor of assembly then no one in Pskistan has power to dismiss it before the completion of its tenure . Gilani and Zardari will enjoy immunity till then .

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  • Ahmed
    Jan 16, 2012 - 8:28PM

    Air Marshal Asghar Khan filed a petition in the Supreme Court during the 1990s against ISI meddling in elections?

    When will Supreme Court hear that petition?Recommend

  • twisting and turning
    Jan 16, 2012 - 9:09PM

    Option 6: Leave it to the people
    In sharp contrast to its other options, the bench said it could leave the matter up to the judgment of the people or their representatives in parliament to deal with the delinquents.

    What is stopping the SC from exercising this option?

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  • A. Hasan
    Jan 17, 2012 - 1:15AM

    When the education level and intellectual depth of these leaders is so low, and their untamed corrupted egos are so high; then how can one expect these clueless accidental fake leaders to understand and respect law! They have no idea what is meant by conflict of interest! Their only interest is to indulge in corruption at any cost! They have looted and plundered national institutions and brought shame to the country! Their political Bhatah mafias are forcing businesses to move out of country! How long this nonsense and chaos will continue? Time has come for these accidental clueless leaders to step aside!

    Recommend

  • Jan 17, 2012 - 2:27AM

    @ Syed Imran

    Now Gillani must be sent home with restriction that he cannot hold any public office in future

    Should even include,”All Zardaris and fake or real Bhuttos”.Recommend

  • Furqan Barbados
    Jan 17, 2012 - 5:08AM

    We have never seen a mere “Court Notice” to someone give a News Paper permission to Stamp him as the true Convict & Outlaw, what a shame! Time and time again many political leaders have been found stepping outside the legal limits but were not branded before conviction in the court. But thanks to our hatred we just want to hang someone for our failure. We so hurry, he is going no where?

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  • Jan 17, 2012 - 7:33AM

    Not only five years but permanently put him away out of public life. That will mean that he cannot EVER be a prime minister again. After serving his term of disqualification in Adyala Jail, let him open a haberdashery in Multan; his favorite respite.

    Pakistan, Pakistan, Pakistan what TORMENT you are under for the past sixty-five years. May ALLMIGHTY ALLAH keep you HEALTHY and WISE. Salams

    Recommend

  • Overcautious
    Jan 17, 2012 - 8:31AM

    @Sajid Hussain: The president or prime minister of any sovereign democratic nation will themselves put up resignation or show up in front of judiciary had there been any controversy revolving around their name… Rule of Law is more important than your so called democracy, and for your information there are far many references of that if you look around the globe particularly in europe!!! Recommend

  • Hasan Mehmood
    Jan 17, 2012 - 10:06AM

    @Farhan Gilgiti:
    That case though very important is of academic interest only. Anyway if we start opening old skeletons, the SC will be busy for next 25 years. This is the same plea taken by looters of national wealth i.e the accountability should start from 1985 or even earlier. Since thats practically impossible (no digital record, witnesses and only moth eaten files or newspaper clippings), the present perpetrators go scot free.

    A start has to be made and let this be the cut off date.Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Jan 17, 2012 - 11:32AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.By doing so by PM Gillani the following words shall be used during the next general elections campaign in the speeches:
    1.We respected the Supreme Court’s verdicts,
    2.We faced the Supreme Court’s allegations and accusations and
    3.We presented ourselves in the Supreme Court for the nation,Pakistan and to follow 1973′s constitution.
    This PM Gillani’s appearance in Supreme Court is the blank cheque which shall be fulfilled and cashed during the next general elections campaigns to be re-elected.

    Recommend

  • Salahuddin
    Jan 17, 2012 - 12:49PM

    I think the writers, creators, negotiators of NRO should also resign and brought to Justice. SC also knows it well, that who is actually responsible for the NRO and if few heads have to roll then let it be accross the baord.

    Recommend

  • Sundas Perveen
    Jan 17, 2012 - 7:27PM

    This is definitely a massive plot. Mansoor Ijaz was a regular commentator on FOX and takes special pleasure in bad mouthing Pakistan and specially its armed forces. It behoves me that he was so forthcoming in helping Haqqani and now is going out of the way to tell everyone what he did. Why would you on one hand try to help and then on the other stab the person in the back? When Mansoor Ijaz was asked about this he gave some mundane reason that he was angry because of the way the Pakistani media “mistreated” Adm. Mullen. So why not take on the Pakistani media rather than coming after the very person he just helped. We will not be fooled Mansoor Ijaz!!!! It is a shame that PML-N, the Judiciary and the establishment have fallen for the trap.

    Recommend

  • Hasan Mehmood
    Jan 17, 2012 - 9:51PM

    @Sundas Perveen:
    This is most definitely a sting operation. With MI credentials of anti army /ISI articles, apparently he can’t be accused of complicity. But I still maintain that the fact HH was trapped is enough to condemn him.

    Recommend

  • Aftab kenneth Wilson
    Jan 17, 2012 - 9:59PM

    I think time is rife for the Parliament to debate the role of some senior judges of both the SC and the LHC who are creating unnecessary impediments in the functioning of the democratic government. Some strong worded legislation should be passed to bell these so called holy cows in our system. Just imagine no one can even utter a single word against them but they in turn can hang a PM and legitimize dictators take-overs. Recommend

  • Jan 17, 2012 - 11:20PM

    From more than sixty years, we are seeing the progress of our economy, national matters and their interest in this country but sorry to say, nothing in this government is effected means to say useful, they all are dustructed/detracked bunch of people. for them pakistan is nothing but a lab of experiments, they obay no orders by supreme court, no consentration, they always use delaying tectics, which means nulity of law, MAXIM is delay in justice means no justice.Recommend

  • pS-bK
    Jan 18, 2012 - 8:34PM

    The bholay Mian Nawaz or the “not very smart either” PPP leaders! I’m surprised with so predictable & reactionary policy shown by PMLn in every step of the way from the begginning PPP leaders are unable to change their habits of carefree political routines. I mean the PMLn is tricked, deceived, cornered, boiled & canned. It’s obviously ready to take a swing anywhere, anytime at the winners. The least PPP could do is to “watch their steps” to not to slip. Instead PPP is continuously choosing the path through the “minefield”. I don’t blame them for the Uphill battle, though. After all the other Path is controled by Army, Nawaz & Extremist supporters. If only PM had consulted earlier with the current Consul he has picked now he would not have seen this “Hot Day” today. There is sure enjoyment here for the opposition but there is a lesson here too for the masses: Give yourself few moments each day in silence to check you are utilizing enough “Common Sense” and also avoiding any major decision based on “Ego” or “Self Rightiousness”.
    Do they not teach this at school of “Politics”?

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  • Aroosa
    Jan 18, 2012 - 10:04PM

    Pakistan is faced with a foreboding scenario that can easily turn ugly. A few individual whims can easily transform the six options mentioned in the Supreme Court order into another non-negotiable ‘six points’. To avoid a tragedy resulting from our own naivety, let us heed the words of a local sage who recently wrote: “The people are familiar with the strong case against the military’s encroachment in the political domain; no less strong is the argument against the judiciary’s intervention in politics. What may be legally permissible is often politically wrong and laws are at best silent on the kind of give and take without which governance by consensus is not possible.” The ultimate case against any government is its performance in office and its highest court is the elections. Let the people decide the fate of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and its leadership. Meanwhile, Mr Nawaz Sharif should fight his battles in the political arena and not resort to undemocratic ways to topple governments or keep a hold on the Senate and Imran Khan should desist from his favourite hobby of hawai (aerial)-firing.

    Recommend

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