ISLAMABAD: In a statement issued to the Supreme Court advocate on record, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan said that an appeal will not be filed against the conviction of the prime minister on contempt charges, Express News reported on Saturday.
Ahsan told the advocate on record that he “can go home” as an appeal would not be filed. The decision was taken as the deadline for filing the plea was about to expire.
According to sources, the risks of filing an appeal were brought before the premier’s advocate by the government in the form of concerns that the chief justice might allow those people to be party to the case who had already petitioned against the prime minister.
One such petitioner was Advocate AK Dogar who petitioned asking the court to stop Yousaf Raza Gilani from holding the prime minister’s office as he was disqualified as per the court’s verdict.
Other concerns were regarding the ruling of Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza. It was argued that her ruling was more beneficial for the government and that filing an appeal might go against them.
It was on the basis of such concerns that a decision was taken to not challenge the Supreme Court’s conviction of the prime minister, sources said.
Aitzaz lauds speaker’s ruling
Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, counsel of Prime Minister Gilani in the contempt case, lauded the Speaker National Assembly’s decision against disqualifying Gilani. “The Constitutional position of the ruling is simple. It was the right decision, and was in line with the objections we had raised in our appeal draft.”
Speaking to the media in Lahore, Aitzaz explained that the role of the Election Commission of Pakistan has ended in the case as the speaker had taken her decision. “The election commission’s doors are now closed. It would have been consulted in two conditions – if the speaker had forwarded the reference to the election commission or had failed to take any decision within 30 days.”
When asked whether a convicted prime minister can pass the budget, Aitzaz stated, “According to the Constitution and the law, if a person has been convicted to a sentence of less than two years, then he continues to be a member [of the House] and hence can remain a prime minister.”
He added that there are three ways to dismiss a prime minister. “One – he resigns himself. Two – a vote of no-confidence is brought against him. Three – he is disqualified from his basic membership.
“As none of these has happened, it is possible for him [Gilani] to pass the budget.”