PM contempt: Disqualification is speaker’s call, argues Mirza

Published: June 1, 2012

"There is no need to refer the matter to Election Commission of Pakistan," National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza.

KARACHI: 

In a reply filed to the court, National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza defended her decision to not disqualify the prime minister – arguing that it is “the Speaker who is to decide” on the matter.

Arguing that “there is no need to refer the matter to Election Commission of Pakistan within 30 days,” the speaker asked the Sindh High Court to dismiss a petition seeking a ruling against the decision to not disqualify the prime minister following his conviction in a contempt case by the Supreme Court.

In a two-page reply, submitted on her behalf by the National Assembly secretary, Mirza defended her decision to dismiss bids to disqualify Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani – including a refusal to send a reference, filed by Advocate Moulvi Iqbal Haider, against the premier to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).

Mirza stated that the reference sent by Advocate Haider, who is also the petitioner in this case, was received and was duly considered but was rejected through her May 24 ruling.

She added that the petition has become infructuous.

“The petition had no legal wings to fly, became infructuous and should, hence, be dismissed,” the reply stated.

The speaker also admitted in her reply that both of the Supreme Court’s orders – April 26, 2012 (short order) and May 8, 2012 (detailed order) – were conveyed to her.

Mirza further stated in her reply that the speaker has always remained “alive to the responsibilities that have to be fulfilled under the Constitution.”

The bench, comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Nadeem Akhtar, adjourned further proceedings till June 6, giving the petitioner time to file a rejoinder.

In his petition, Advocate Haider maintained that, following his conviction, Prime Minister Gilani has ceased to be a part of the National Assembly.

He added that the speaker does not have any role in deciding whether the premier is disqualified or not, and should forward the reference to the ECP.

The petitioner had prayed to the SHC to seek a reply from the convicted prime minister in this regard, and to direct the speaker to forward his reference against the premier to the CEC.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2012.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • syedzainraza
    Jun 1, 2012 - 5:56AM

    ET stop giving this lady front page space! she aint worth it, she has let the nation down! id like to read more about veena’s recent achievements and reema’s walima!

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  • Shayan
    Jun 1, 2012 - 6:46AM

    Fehmida Mirza. The first woman speaker of the national assembly. Bravo ! All you have done in your tenure is to make the pakistani nation know that women are just as morally corrupt as men in this country

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  • John B
    Jun 1, 2012 - 8:10AM

    The speaker has no obligation to respond to court and let the interior minister handle that. Court has no jurisdiction on parliamentary affairs and the judges conceded that before referring it.

    Stand your ground speaker. You are the boss of the parliament,

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  • kala_bacha
    Jun 1, 2012 - 8:19AM

    She is talking like as she also has immunity under constitution. In between I do NOT actcept the current assembly or speaker status as this assembly were broken the moment the prime minister guilty verdict from justice department.

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  • Mirza
    Jun 1, 2012 - 8:27AM

    Why is PCO CJ allowing the other provincial courts to consider this petition. We thought that to try PPP politicians there are only two courts LHC and PC SC. All the other HC from smaller provinces were missing in action all these years. From ZAB to Zardari to the PM all cases are tried in LHC and SC. Even though BB was murdered in Rawalpindi her case is not going to see Punjab HC or the SC.

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  • Nadeem
    Jun 1, 2012 - 9:11AM

    By delaring that the PM cannot be disqualified on the basis of court’s orders, she has set a very dangerous precendent that in the future, whosoever may be the PM or any sitting MNA, would not face justice for whatever deed no matter how heinous he or she may have committed, as long as he or she is in the good books of the party head. This is gross misconduct and act of beligerence and slap in the name of rule of law.

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  • Kaleem
    Jun 1, 2012 - 10:26AM

    An exponential decline in her repute of being a noble speaker.Recommend

  • Logic Europe
    Jun 1, 2012 - 10:51AM

    The speakers ruling is final and she is not answerable to the courts
    a great woman, kind and considerate ,She will not play in the hands of those who want to dislodge an elected government by tainted courts

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  • Irfan
    Jun 1, 2012 - 10:52AM

    FM proved that it is a country of feudals where feudal mindset is above the law.

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  • Not me
    Jun 1, 2012 - 10:59AM

    No madam.
    Even you have to respect the decision of Supreme Court. Remeber the saying: what goes around comes around

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Jun 1, 2012 - 1:45PM

    Much the best and excellent live and practical example of “a friend in need is a friend indeed” and show of “gamesmanship”.
    Now this topic has to be ended and let PPP complete its tenure because in Nov/Dec present government’s setup shall be dissolved for next general elections in March 2013 and nothing is going to be changed and happened by the petitions filed in Supreme Court by the PML-N and PTI because in giving/taking dates from Supreme Court Nov/Dec shall come and the government shall be dissolved.

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  • Xnain
    Jun 1, 2012 - 2:28PM

    @Logic Europe:
    We are an interesting nation, a nation who morns on electricity, food, curruption. But at the same time wants to protect the sources of all these problem. We are gradually becoming a group intellectually defaulted hypocrites. When someone escpaes the law infront of our eyes, we morn the courts. But when court tries to implement whatever it can, we again morn the courts. The current government has failed to deliver even a single thing to us over the last 4 years or so. If this is what is democracy, then i would say that worse form of autocracy is better than so called democracy where everybody is free to lute the national wealth and claim immunity when it comes to accountibility. Its a shame really.

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  • Mirza
    Jun 1, 2012 - 6:44PM

    The parliament is sovereign and supreme as it is the writer of the constitution and elected by “we the people”. Madam Speaker Dr. Mirza is not answerable to PCO SC judges who are unelected paid govt servants who are on extension and with political and religious agenda. The Speaker is elected by the elected parliament and should not answer to anybody except the people in the next elections. She should simply ignore these manufactured cases and conspiracies.

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