Contempt case: Supreme Court indicts Gilani

Contempt charges framed against the premier, hearing adjourned till February 22.

Afp/web Desk February 13, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday indicted Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani for contempt of court in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) implementation case.

A two-page charge sheet was read out by Justice Nasirul Mulk, who headed the seven-member bench hearing the case.

The charge sheet said that the prime minister had violated Article 204 of the Constitution by not writing a letter to the Swiss authorities as ordered by the court. It added that the prime minister also violated paragraph 178 of the court's verdict in the NRO implementation case.

Gilani pleaded not guilty and sought more time in the case. But, the court ordered Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq to prosecute the prime minister and present more documents and proof to the court.

Gilani's lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan told the court that he will present his arguments on February 22, while Gilani was ordered to bring sufficient evidence by February 27.

The prime minister was exempted from further hearings while the hearing was adjourned till February 22.

Prime Minister Gilani was served a contempt notice in the NRO implementation case when the government did not follow the court's orders of writing a letter to the Swiss authority to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) stalwart Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan is serving as Gilani's lawyer in the case.

The Supreme Court has said it will only drop the summons if Gilani obeys its order to write to the Swiss authorities, asking them to re-open the cases.

If convicted, Gilani faces six months in jail and disqualification from office in a case that has fanned political instability and may force elections within months.

CORRECTION: An earlier headline mistakenly said that Gilani has been found guilty of contempt by the court. However, as of right now, only contempt charges have been framed. The error is regretted.


Naeem | 10 years ago | Reply

The people at large may be justified in asking why one party to the NRO has completely been ignored in over two years of legal proceedings. Generals Musharraf and Kayani and the institution they represented were an equal, if not the more important, party in conceiving and implementing the NRO. Why is the role of the generals and their institution a past and closed transaction while a martyred civilian continues to be prosecuted? If orders can be made to bring back the allegedly looted wealth stashed abroad, it would have only been fair to have General Musharraf extradited or at least ask for it. But that would have meant not just taking on his institution but also the reopening of several ‘past and closed transactions’ and entail an unpleasant discussion about various NROs — yours, mine and ours. However, the fact is that the original verdict remains a controversial and lopsided one, which had set the stage for the abuse of the dictator-inducted Article 61-F to label the prime minister as dishonest and a liar. Without actually undoing the wrongs done by the NRO verdict itself any relief given to the prime minister will merely be a band aid.

Curious Cat | 10 years ago | Reply

@Tilsim: wow, some nerve. Value judgement on entire group. After reading your comment' I read through all the above comments. I'm afraid You are jumping to conclusion, Sir(or Ma'am) Nobody is saying he has been convicted. Please stop underestimating other peoples' intelligence.( now don't start quoting comments and interpreting your way)

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