PM contempt: SC to announce verdict on April 26

Published: April 24, 2012

AG says certain sections of media reporting against him, trying to create pressure in the case. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

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.

Reader Comments (34)

  • Logic Europe
    Apr 24, 2012 - 12:33PM

    who is guilty of tawheen e adalat? it is the spire me court judges who are on a ree of vendetta
    Mirror has been shown to them ,they should back of and not waste peoples money any more
    the courts are for the people and judges should not behave like spoiled children

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  • Uza Syed
    Apr 24, 2012 - 12:39PM

    The courts may not be criticised as the judges interpret this as being contempted, however, the court and its chief may call whatever they/he please/s. In this case, politicians are called “robbers”, for the ministers are basically politicians.

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  • Malik Liaquat Hussain
    Apr 24, 2012 - 12:45PM

    Thanks God, Dear Prime Minister do what you want and cross all the limits because this is Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

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  • Maher
    Apr 24, 2012 - 12:58PM

    “robbers have been made ministers”, so what’s wrong ????

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  • ishrat salim
    Apr 24, 2012 - 1:00PM

    Friendly Prosecutor….Recommend

  • Apr 24, 2012 - 1:37PM

    @ PM

    Sir, to be honest you going 2 jail with hand cuffs might in ur calculations make you a true jiyala, but the reality remains that under your reign Pakistan has seen the worse which even our white masters failed 6 decades back……………….your sacrifice will be INSHALLAH translated as the one driven by personal ambitions at a price of a nationa and a state………….
    If SC has finally and i repeat finally given up its policy of “Delay to a better day”………………you are heading 2 d famous valley’s of Adiyala and placing the whole institution of executive and legislature in deep shame………………………

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  • zavia
    Apr 24, 2012 - 1:57PM

    I don’t believe some thing big gonna happen.

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  • Elcay
    Apr 24, 2012 - 2:24PM

    A defence counsel defends the accused in a court and a prosecutor proves the gulit of the accused. Here in this case, both the defence and the prosecution are defending the accused. I am sure there will be no such instance in the history of world court cases. So much so for the democratic nation.

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  • Hakeem
    Apr 24, 2012 - 2:54PM

    Perhaps SC will give one more chance and new deadline to Mr. Gillani to write letter

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  • Mirza Zulfiqar Baig
    Apr 24, 2012 - 2:55PM

    Please Chief Justice – do not come under pressure and advise all judges to announce their verdict. Be sure that Pakistani nation is with Supreme Court.

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  • Khan
    Apr 24, 2012 - 2:59PM

    Can anyone expect an impartial judgement!!! Not saying that PM & so called President are not corrupt… but the system in which we live all decisions are influenced. Change the system not faces,

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  • Apr 24, 2012 - 2:59PM

    He wont leave his office even if Judiciary asks him to leave

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  • Shaheer Malik
    Apr 24, 2012 - 4:18PM

    It is eye opener for the people of Pakistan who elect him. All laws are for the poor. No influential person come under any law. How shamfully Aitzaz says PM will remain PM despite he get punshment. These all are group corrupt people. So we all should pray that Almighty Allah give them punishment because they have not made any law for themselves.

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  • Kaleem
    Apr 24, 2012 - 5:03PM

    “Attorney General of Pakistan Irfan Qadir had said during the hearing today that there is no contempt of court law present in Pakistan.”

    oh really? haha

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  • Apr 24, 2012 - 5:25PM

    No doubt,
    Defense Counsel advanced strong arguments,
    and tried to prove that his client is innocent.

    It is clear that president has immunity,he can not be tried
    until he is on the post,

    Constitution itself is a great hurdle in the way of writing the letter
    to Swiss court for reopening the graft case against the person
    designated president.

    When we consider the whole scenario,Prime Minister,prima facia,looks
    innocent,his presence in the apex court reveals that he give due honor
    to the Supreme Court.

    Prime Minister is in a examination hall and facing tough test.
    rainy days are expected ,God bless us all and our country.

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  • Hit-Man
    Apr 24, 2012 - 5:35PM

    Even if the Pak PM is found guilty and convicted, he will be pardoned by the President. Its a win win situation for him.

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  • talha israr
    Apr 24, 2012 - 5:44PM

    why the judges delay their decision? They should act now.

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  • ishrat salim
    Apr 24, 2012 - 5:57PM

    Reply to Sultan Ahmed…Yes ! defense council tried his best & Irfan Qadri being PG has also supported him…a history made only in Pakistan…where the defense counsel & PG are on the same page…& SC is aware of it which might influence case against the PM…& that shud give enough ammo to the PPP govt to fire a salvo of ” conspiracy to derail democracy ” – PPP`s favorite slogan…

    & what makes PM look innocent…he cannot get away by saying ( thru his counsel ) that he acted as per advise of the Law ministry…the Law minister ( ex Babar Awan ) gave wrong advise & he knew it that is why he did not appear as witness.

    1) the writing of letter to swiss govt does not necessarily means for AAZ…there are 6 more people involved ( the case report was given to Aitzaz by SC to read aloud) & then one can claim immunity for the President from the court.
    2) once the case is brought back to its original position…these 6 persons will expose all & that is what defense is afraid off, notwithstanding that AAZ is the president of Pakistan now..that is why the defense counsel was pleading & insisting that writting letter to swiss govt will be bad for the country`s image & reputation etc;
    3) therefore,defense knows that it is a weak case…Recommend

  • Apr 24, 2012 - 5:57PM

    if one is not guilty then why he or she should be scared of anything. Just face it and wait for the results.

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  • Mirza
    Apr 24, 2012 - 9:20PM

    @ishrat salim: With due respect, why are our SC and HC not trying the president even after keeping him in jail for over 11 years? They must try and prove corruption only then the Swiss govt can take any action. It has been decades but these cases are not tried fully let alone decided by either Paksitani or Swiss courts. In fact the Swiss Attorney general has clearly stated that what are Paksitani courts doing, why are they not trying? Foreign courts are not joke that Paksitan can ask them on and then off and then on again. Why is the SC afraid of making a decision itself and then send a copy of that to Swiss govt? Let us finish these cases instead of using them when convenient.
    Regards,
    Mirza

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  • SAK
    Apr 24, 2012 - 10:01PM

    Our so called Independent judiciary system will allow the corrupt govt. to continue and complete its tenure. In the last three years, there is not a single decision which has really challenged this govt. All the decisions are just show off.

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  • Hamid Ahmed
    Apr 24, 2012 - 10:16PM

    @Elcay:
    Prosecutors do withdraw cases for several reasons, they do admit in court that they don’t have case and therefore they are withdrawing it. It is simple, it happens a lot in Pakistan and other countries of world, in many cases prosecutors have be admonished or fined by courts for bringing frivolous cases. Only it is strange here so media can cook up stories to get “gossip loving” Pakistani’s to watch. I commend AG Qadir for not making it a matter of ego and hope Judiciary does the same.

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  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Apr 24, 2012 - 10:49PM

    @ All above…………. let SCP announce their verdict……which has to accepted by all & sundry & finish this matter so far hanging in limbo .

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  • Parvez
    Apr 24, 2012 - 11:58PM

    There’s a saying : When you know you can’t win a fight, it’s foolish to throw the first punch.
    Our supreme court should think about it.

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  • Lala Gee
    Apr 25, 2012 - 12:15AM

    @Mirza:

    “why are our SC and HC not trying the president even after keeping him in jail for over 11 years? They must try and prove corruption only then the Swiss govt can take any action. It has been decades but these cases are not tried fully let alone decided by either Paksitani or Swiss courts.”

    Thank you for giving me an opportunity to clear many misconceptions created by “Jialas”. Raymond W. Baker in his eye opener book “Capitalism’s Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free-Market System”, published in 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., USA, wrote on page 82:

    “Even the Swiss finally had had enough. Seventeen bank accounts linked to Bhutto and Zardari were frozen. The two were charged with money laundering in connection with bribes received from the inspection company SGS and were convicted by a Swiss court in 2003, with fines and suspended prison sentences.”

    He further writes on the same page:

    “Save your tears. In the global collection of displaced leaders, Benazir Bhutto may be the least sympathetic character of all.”

    John Wiley & Sons, Inc., USA, is one of the most prestigious and largest publishing houses in America. As you yourself live in America, you know that in USA wrongly implicating a person of the stature of Prime Minister and Chairperson of a political party in a graft money laundering case by a publisher is a big big jackpot for the accused. Why Zardari and Benazir did not sued the publishing house for damages which could have easily earned them tens of millions of dollars?, but only if they were innocent.

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  • XX
    Apr 25, 2012 - 2:07AM

    @Mirza:
    With regards to the Swiss: It is not necessary for Zardari to be tried in Pakistan for them to ‘take action’. In fact, they already have ‘taken action’; Zardari was tried in absentia in a Swiss court and was convicted on October 29, 2007. His appeal was rejected on March 25, 2008.
    You are right to point out though that the Swiss are wondering why the Pakistani government isn’t trying / arresting / punishing Zardari itself. I think the whole nation is wondering that.

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  • LivPak
    Apr 25, 2012 - 2:34AM

    This is beyond justice now. When hatred and grudge against the bias of judiciary take roots there is no lesson to learn neither is there a precedent to set for the masses. Who won then? Ego & honor won as usual. The way this whole ordeal went through long term vengeance is set now, waiting for the moment to get even. In all of this Mian Nawaz did an excellent job by creating an environment___ by continuously passing politically charged comments that made the nation think CJ was actually working for him and not for justice.

    The unfolding of the whole scenario was so beautiful that no matter what the outcome will be, the PM is a declared winner and the NS & the Judiciary will be the looser. How could this happen? You tell me! What does it prove? If you play with your head-up you win the hearts even if you loose a game.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Apr 25, 2012 - 2:47AM

    @Lala Gee:
    Thanks for your comments Lala G. My question still remains “when you and all have this many open proofs against Zardari/Bhutto, what are they waiting for in the PCO SC”? These judges should have decided this case long ago, rather than trying them in their graves. In the US each person is innocent unless proved otherwise. The burden of proof is on the prosecutors not the defendents. Everybody knows that most Paksitani leaders especially who were forced to go to exile have large sums of money in the foreign banks. Why is only one family and one party targeted for almost three decades? The working of PCO SC and its judges do not pass the smell test. They should go directly and try Zardari and not through the elected PM and his family. Is this a fair modus operendi?
    Regards,
    Mirza

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  • Abdul Rahman Khan
    Apr 25, 2012 - 2:47AM

    Conviction? No problem. He is a hard criminal. He served jail sentence before and will serve now agin. No problem.

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  • Saad
    Apr 25, 2012 - 5:08AM

    @Lala Gee:

    Perhaps had Raymond Baker also bothered to read the proceeding in Swiss Courts, the verdicts reached and the Swiss laws under which the accounts were frozen, he would know that Shaheed BB and AAZ both got off scott free after the revelations that the convictions were based on falsified evidence by Pakistani authorities (Hint: Find out why Mr Malik Qayum was forced to resign and also the revelation about the case by a former naval officer of PN)

    It is charming how you have used excerpts of a book to justify your answer, books which clearly do not stand a chance in the Court of law.

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  • OG
    Apr 25, 2012 - 6:23AM

    “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.” ………… True but the best of the robbers have been made president and PM..agree?

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  • Mirza
    Apr 25, 2012 - 9:31AM

    @XX:
    @Saad:
    Dear Saad, you have said it so clearly that the Swiss courts did not convict BB or AAZ. Is there a single example in modern history that a country’s SC is begging a foreign lower court to try its sitting head of the state? This is yet another ignominious distinction for the PCO SC judges and the dark history of SC. By repeatedly electing PPP the people of Pakistan have rejected the decisions of SC in the past and would do the same in future.
    Thanks and regards,
    Mirza

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Apr 25, 2012 - 11:57AM

    There is nothing going be changed or happened because in PPP’s dictionary there is no any word related to “contempt of court” and only the word is “exemption or immunity”.

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  • Lala Gee
    Apr 25, 2012 - 6:43PM

    @Saad:

    “would know that Shaheed BB and AAZ both got off scott free after the revelations that the convictions were based on falsified evidence by Pakistani authorities”

    @Mirza:

    “Is there a single example in modern history that a country’s SC is begging a foreign lower court to try its sitting head of the state?”

    You guys seem to be following “everything is fair in love and war” out of your “Jialapan”. No argument or proof can satisfy or change the opinion of a person blinded by love or hate. A paramount example is Aitezaz Ahsan who on numerous occasions said that PM ought to and must write the letter to Swiss authorities for reopening the graft cases, and now he tells the Supreme Court that the letter can not be written.

    Saad: Apparently “BB and AAZ both got off scott free” because of the letter written by AG Pak, but in reality as a result of the understanding between USA and General Musharraf manifested through NRO.

    Mriza: Supreme Court of Pakistan is just asking to withdraw the letter written by Malik Qayyum illegally, and even without authority, because the NRO has been declared null-and-void by the full 17 member bench of the Supreme Court as a result of the Parliament’s refusal to ratify it. Regarding “sitting head of the state” part, you should be ashamed of accepting a convicted criminal as your Chairperson, in the first place, and then nominating him for the post.

    And as I said before, wrongly implicating a person of the stature of Prime Minister and Chairperson of a political party in a graft money laundering case by a publisher is a big big jackpot for the accused. Why Zardari and Benazir did not sued the publishing house for damages which could have easily earned them tens of millions of dollars?, but only if they were innocent.

    Moreover, you should also read the book, especially page 82 to 87 which give detailed account of the corruption and embarrassments of the BB, AAZ, and NS.

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