The Lahore High Court on Tuesday admitted for regular hearing a petition which requests that the court restrain the prime minister from approving the federal budget after his conviction by the Supreme Court.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial observed that the issues raised by the petitioner were of “grave importance” and that the case should be heard by a larger bench. He then forwarded the case to the LHC Chief Justice with a request to constitute a larger bench.
Advocate AK Dogar submitted, on behalf of Advocate Shahensha Shamil Paracha, that since April 26, Yousaf Raza Gilani had ceased to be the prime minister.
Justice Bandial pointed out that the prime minister had the right to file an appeal against his conviction.
The PM had already made it clear that neither he nor his successor would write a letter to the Swiss authorities asking them to reopen the cases against President Zardari, replied the counsel, adding that there was no likelihood of him getting any relief from the Supreme Court in the appeal.
Dogar then said that Gilani should be asked to “explain” official visits, both domestic and international, after his conviction. He said that all the expenses, which Gilani had incurred after his conviction, should be recovered from his personal account.
After hearing the arguments, Justice Bandial issued notices to the prime minister and the Attorney General of Pakistan. The court also asked the attorney general to assist it in the case.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2012.