The Lahore High Court on Thursday admitted for regular hearing and issued notices to the Attorney General of Pakistan and the federal government on a petition seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and registration of treason case against him for allegedly subverting the Constitution by not implementing judicial decisions. The petitioner said that the PM by doing so had breached the oath he took to uphold the Constitution.
Justice Umar Atta Bandial of the LHC issued the order on a petition by Advocate Allah Bukhsh Gondal. The bench admitted the petition for regular hearing after the petitioner’s counsel, Advocate AK Dogar, made preliminary submissions.
Following a court direction, the petitioner had previously amended the plea to include a challenge to Article 6 (3) of the Constitution, which allows only the federal government to initiate a high treason reference.
The petitioner requested the court to strike down the provision and let all citizens initiate a reference to seek high treason prosecution of a person. The court has issued a notice on the amended petition for September 8. The main case will also come up for further proceedings by the next hearing.
The petitioner contended that the prime minister was required by law to protect the Constitution. He said that it was the PM’s paramount duty to get the Supreme Court decisions implemented.
He said that liability for violation of SC orders and the Constitution fell on the PM. He referred to a number of decisions and directions passed by the Supreme Court for the implementation by the Executive which were still pending.
He pointed to the order for writing a letter to the Swiss authorities for reopening cases against President Asif Ali Zardari and another barring use of the Presidency for party politics. He regretted that no regard was paid to the implementation of these orders.
The petitioner said that disrespect was shown to courts by ignoring their verdicts and calling strikes against their decisions. He said that some officers were appointed to departments which were party before the court in order to thwart court decisions and their execution.
He accused the prime minister for following the president’s ‘dictates’ instead of meeting constitutional requirements.
The petitioner requested the court to declare the prime minister unqualified to hold the office and initiate a high treason case him.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2011.