ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has reserved judgement in the contempt case against Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and will announce its verdict on April 26, 2012.
The hearing was underway by a seven-member bench, headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk, who asked Gilani’s counsel, Aitzaz Ahsan, to make sure that the prime minister is present in court on that day.
Gilani has appeared twice before the court and had decided to fight the case. He had maintained throughout the proceedings of the case that he had done nothing against the rules of business.
Ahsan had said that the bench was not eligible to hear the case as it had taken notice itself.
While speaking to the media on the premises of the Supreme Court Ahsan said that the AG had agreed that according to the current record, there was no contempt of court case against Gilani.
Ahsan said that it was AG Qadir’s opinion which he gave to the bench after looking at all the matters, considering the law, facts and incidents and that the decision will be given by the court.
Asked if the prime minister will appear in person, he said: “I will inform him about it today and he will inshallah (God willing) come to the court.”
He said the maximum punishment Gilani could face if convicted was six months in prison, but he was hopeful the judges would acquit his client.
Presenting his arguments against Gilani, Attorney General of Pakistan Irfan Qadir had said during the hearing today that there is no contempt of court law present in Pakistan.
Qadir said that a section of the media was reporting against him, alleging that he had sided with the premier’s counsel, Aitzaz Ahsan and was trying to bail out Gilani.
The AG gave the reference of Section 8 (2) and said that the court can release orders to stop such reporting.
He also informed the bench that some reports had mentioned Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry saying that “robbers have been made ministers”, and said that such a statement cannot be attributed to the chief justice.
Qadir said that such media reports were creating pressure in the case and were trying to influence the court proceedings.
Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani questioned the AG if he thought that the court was being influenced, who replied that even if the court wasn’t getting influenced, he found the statements offensive and prayed to the court to take action against them.
He said that since he has been made a prosecutor in the case, he will present his arguments independently, without getting influenced from anyone.
Justice Mulk asked him to provide the copies of the United Nations guidelines that he was reading from. The AG said that he did not get time, otherwise he would have provided copies to the court.