Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Nadeem Akhtar of the Sindh High Court reserved on Wednesday their judgment on the maintainability of a petition against convicted Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and hence his disqualification from office.
The petition was filed by Moulvi Iqbal Haider advocate on April 28. He is seeking direction to the Speaker of the National Assembly to forward a reference he sent to her against Gilani. She was supposed to send it to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) who is the final authority on the PM’s seat. He was convicted and sentenced by a full bench of the Supreme Court on April 26 in a contempt of court case.
On Tuesday, the bench asked the petitioner to satisfy the court on the maintainability of the petition. The short order was silent about the disqualification of the PM, the bench observed. The bench was of the view that the apex court has not said that Article 63-1 (g) was attracted.
Replying to the questions raised by the bench, the petitioner submitted that even in the short order, the court has held that the PM has wilfully disobeyed the orders of the court. He ridiculed the court and thus stands disqualified. The petitioner also submitted that irrespective of the duration of the sentence, the conviction itself entails disqualification and holders of all constitutional offices, including the respondent Speaker and Chief Election Commissioner, are bound to apply their minds and decide the issue of disqualification.
These proceedings were held just before the afternoon before the SC issued a detailed judgment in the contempt of court case against Gilani.
The petitioner maintained that the SC bench had in its short order convicted and sentenced the respondent to a lesser sentence of “till the rising of the court” in view of mitigating circumstances. The bench also left the process of the declaration of unseating Yousuf Raza Gilani to the holders of constitutional offices, including the Speaker and CEC, the petitioner said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2012.