Contempt and immunity: Petition against Zardari and Gilani dismissed

Petitioner told to approach the Supreme Court.


Our Correspondent March 22, 2012

KARACHI:


The Sindh High Court on Thursday dismissed a constitutional petition seeking action against Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani for his alleged contemptuous remarks against superior judiciary and on the question of immunity under Article 248-A to President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari.


The bench comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Nadeem Akhtar after hearing counsel for the petitioner, Moulvi Iqbal Haider, held that the high court had no jurisdiction as matter pertained to the federation. The bench also took the view that issue of contempt of court by prime minister Gilani is already being heard by the Supreme Court.

The petitioner maintained that Asif Ali Zardari was allowed to contest elections conditionally that corruption cases against him would be seen later and the Supreme Court made it clear that final decision /judgment would deem to be passed on the day when interim order was passed. The petitioner maintained that after Asif Zardari was elected President, he does not enjoy immunity under Article 148-A due to the conditionality attached by the apex court.

It was also contended by the petitioner that after judgment by Supreme Court in NRO case and successive directions in its implementation case, prime minister Gilani with mala fide intention has refused to write letter to the Swiss authorities about money belonging to people/state of Pakistan. Gilani has made contemptuous remarks thus rendering his entire government “disqualified,” maintained the petitioner. He prayed to the court to declare the Gilani cabinet as disqualified.

The bench while dismissing the petition in liminie held that if the petitioner believes so that he has some grievance, he may raise the same before the bench of apex court which is hearing the NRO implementation case as well as contempt of court case against the prime minister.

Iqbal Haider told The Express Tribune that he would file the petition before apex court seeking directions to the Election Commission to send a reference against prime minister for violating Article 5, 9, 25, 63, 90, 189, 190 and 204 of the Constitution and President Zardari for being beneficiary of NRO and thus disqualified to become and remain president of the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2012.

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