Petitions seeking the prime minister’s disqualification poured in courts across the country on Monday.
A petition filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday sought the court to order Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to stop serving as prime minister after his conviction in the contempt of court case.
It states that the premier defied the court’s orders by not writing a letter to the Swiss authorities asking them to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari and thus he should be disqualified.
The petition maintains that according to Article 63(1) g of the constitution, the prime minister stands disqualified from being a member of the National Assembly and thus, his cabinet also stood dissolved.
The petition filed by Advocate G M Chaudhry will be heard by Justice Shaukat Siddiqui on May 2.
According to the petition, the cabinet, its advisers and ministers of the state cannot exercise power or continue to perform since Article 91 of the constitution would deem such actions to be unconstitutional. It added that all federal ministers, advisers and special assistants should be asked to quit their offices.
The petitioner, Advocate Chaudhry, cited all advisers and special assistants to the prime minister, the federal law secretary, attorney general and the chief election commissioner as respondents in the petition.
Meanwhile, the Sindh High Court on Monday adjourned the hearing of a petition filed by Advocate Syed Moulvi Iqbal Haider on the same issue till May 3.
Justice Faisal Arab and Nadeem Akhtar took up the petition which was filed on Saturday on the request of Haider. The hearing will now take place in an open court on Thursday.
Justice Maqbool Baqar earlier declined to hear the same petition, saying that there were too many cases to be heard in the day and not enough time.
The petition too, seeks to move the Speaker of National Assembly to ask the chief election commissioner to declare the seat of the prime minister vacant upon Gilani’s conviction of contempt of court.
The petition numbered CP-D 1600/2012 cited the NA speaker, the chief election commissioner and the federal law secretary as the main respondents.
The petition reiterated that the Supreme Court has left the decision of unseating the premier up to those who hold constitutional offices. It, thus, requested NA Speaker Fehmida Mirza to ask the chief election commissioner to declare the seat vacant.
The petition also requests the commissioner to convene a meeting to exclusively discuss the issue of Gilani’s disqualification after he was convicted and sentenced.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 1st, 2012.