Lahore High Court Chief Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed will hear two identical writ petitions on Wednesday (today) seeking directions to restrain Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani from holding office and asking him for an explanation as to which law allows him to continue in office.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Inqilab chairman Rana Ilmuddin Ghazi and Advocate Shahid Naseem Gondal have filed the petitions through their counsel AK Dogar.
The petitioners said the PM was punished with imprisonment by the Supreme Court after being found guilty of contempt of court.
They said the respondent ceased to be the prime minister when he was pronounced a convict and punished under Article 204(2) of the Constitution.
They said that the respondent should be asked show under Article 199(1)(b) of the Constitution under what authority of law he claimed to hold the office of the prime minister.
The petitioners referred to Fazalul Qadar Chaudhry vs M Abdul Haq (PLD 1963 SC 486(506)) where the court held, “Examined in that state, it is clear from Clause (1) of Article 204 that the Constitution regards the assumption of an office of profit in the service of Pakistan . . . requiring no ascertainment by any fact finding process and accordingly, this clause lays down a rule of automatic application, that a person assuming such an office of profit should forthwith cease to be a member of an assembly. In such a case there would naturally be no need whatsoever for the matter to be referred to the chief election commissioner.”
The petitioners stated that under the rule of automatic application, the respondent prime minister had ceased to hold the office and provisions of Article 63(2) and (3) were irrelevant.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2012.