Gilani cannot be disqualified under Article 63: Speaker NA

Published: May 24, 2012
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Speaker National Assembly decides against forwarding SC's reference to election commission. PHOTO: FILE

Speaker National Assembly decides against forwarding SC's reference to election commission. PHOTO: FILE

Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza, finalising her decision in Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s contempt case, said that Gilani cannot be disqualified under Article 63(1)(g) of the Constitution, Express News reported on Thursday.

The speaker said that according to Article 63 of the Constitution, the question of the prime minister’s qualification “does not arise”. She has also decided against forwarding the Supreme Court’s reference to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Quoting the Supreme Court’s order in her 11-point long ruling, Mirza wrote, “no specific charge regarding the propagation of any opinion or acting in any manner against the independence of the judiciary or defaming or ridiculing the judiciary as contemplated under Article 63 (1) (g) has been framed.”

She added: “I am of the view that the charges against Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani are not relatable to the grounds mentioned in paragraph (g) or (h) of clause (1) of Article 63, therefore, no question of disqualification of Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani from being a member arises under clause (2) of Article 63 of the Constitution.”

Sources affiliated with Express News revealed that Dr Mirza said the Supreme Court did not raise the issue of Gilani’s disqualification when it announced the verdict in the contempt case, hence there was no need to send the reference against Gilani to the ECP.

Dr Mirza consulted law experts including Aitzaz Ahsan, Fakhruddin G, Asma Jahangir and Justice (retd) Sajjad Ali for the decision, which she dictated to the secretary national assembly.

Against the ruling

Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal said that the ruling has proved that justice in the country is different for the powerful and the weak.

“All over the world, if such an order was passed against a prime minister, the premier would have stepped down from his post immediately after the order was announced… but here the prime minister is sticking to his seat.”

“The speaker should have been above her political affiliations while passing the ruling, but she instead used her post in favour of the prime minister… But we will keep stressing that a convict cannot be the prime minister of 180 million people.”

Law expert Salman Akram Raja also found it surprising that the speaker decided against forwarding the reference to the election commission as the Supreme Court had ‘clearly’ mentioned what it wanted. “The Supreme Court has the complete right to do justice.”

Law expert Wajeeh Ahmed also said that the speaker’s ruling was not the right step as Article 63 clearly indicates that when a leader is convicted, he is disqualified from his post.

In favour of the ruling

Kanwar Dilshad, former secretary election commission, talking to Express News, said that Dr Mirza was right when she said that the Supreme Court did not give any clear directions in its order. “What kind of an order did the Supreme Court pass?” he questioned.

“When I was in the election commission, we used to receive several Supreme Court orders which would clearly give us directions on what to do,” he added. “We totally support the speaker’s decision.”

Former law minister Khalid Ranjha also supported the speaker and said that her decision was within the Constitution and it cannot be challenged. “This is parliament’s internal matter.”

A seven-member bench of the Supreme Court convicted Gilani of contempt on April 26, 2012 for refusing to write a letter to Swiss authorities in order to reopen corruption cases against the president.

Read complete text of Dr Fehmida Mirza’s ruling here.

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Reader Comments (55)

  • Zulfiqar Baig
    May 24, 2012 - 4:05PM

    We knew this decision would come as Speaker NA belongs to PPP.

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  • KB
    May 24, 2012 - 4:15PM

    I just love the way they turn and twist just about everything for themselves – Jiyay BhutoRecommend

  • KB
    May 24, 2012 - 4:16PM

    I just love the way they turn and twist just about everything for themselves – Jiyay Bhuto

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  • SAJ!
    May 24, 2012 - 4:18PM

    Good Job, your highness!! That’s exactly what the nation was expecting from you. So, Gillani is going nowhere??

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  • May 24, 2012 - 4:18PM

    That is taking a sensible view.

    Media should focus on development issues.

    If Indus Valley is not developed, Pakistan would collapse.

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  • Hasan
    May 24, 2012 - 4:19PM

    Another person of PPP will lose integrity/ respect today.

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  • Shahid Ashraf
    May 24, 2012 - 4:22PM

    I think she is right in her thinking!

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  • Logic Europe
    May 24, 2012 - 4:22PM

    now what next?
    Is CJ going to call the speaker for contempt?

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  • Faysal
    May 24, 2012 - 4:50PM

    What else do you expect from her????

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  • aliza awais
    May 24, 2012 - 4:54PM

    As Expected…

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  • syed Imran
    May 24, 2012 - 4:59PM

    No sane person could imagine that being a PPP politician she would against her party convicted PM.

    Thanks mam speaker you held high the PPP flag rather than the flag of Justice.

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  • Ali q
    May 24, 2012 - 5:01PM

    Seems like her team of legal experts was the PPP CEC.

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  • Angry
    May 24, 2012 - 5:10PM

    What else she could do?

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  • zeeshan
    May 24, 2012 - 5:13PM

    well done madam we had same hoped that you would do as at least your are the speaker of corrupt assembly , now it seems as the nursery which founded by PPP forefather has grown up and generation belong to PPP would break all record of corruption and dishonesty. Also Salute to judiciary which kept great soft corner for PM and his corrupt buddies.Recommend

  • Saleem
    May 24, 2012 - 5:15PM

    @Hasan – In my 60 years I have yet to see integrity in any PPP party member present or past

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  • Islam munawar
    May 24, 2012 - 5:18PM

    Speaker is brave and just personality. She deseves every respect.Recommend

  • Rahim
    May 24, 2012 - 5:22PM

    ha ha … no surprise there, how could you disqualify your own buddy, what a shame, PPP has lost it.

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  • ahmer
    May 24, 2012 - 5:27PM

    Good. This is the right thing. I agree with her. We should focus on development. Right now the judiciary, media and military’s main focus is somehow not to let the government complete its 5 year term. This is because their power base will be dampened if it is allowed as it will embolden future civilian setups as well.

    UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT BE ALLOWED TO FALL. There is only 1 year left for election.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    May 24, 2012 - 5:29PM

    Speaker of the National Assembly has proved that she is NOT impartial.

    How it is possible that the judges of Supreme Court who announced the judgement did not considered the clauses which Fahmida Mirza is referring to before announcement of the judgement?

    Every one in this country is wrong, except the members of PPP.

    In other words, Fahmida Mirza by wrongly interpreting the judgement has done contempt of court.

    May Al-Mighty Allah give wisdom to the so called legislators who can only read those lines which are written by their party men.

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  • M.AKRAM NIAZI
    May 24, 2012 - 5:32PM

    It will be better for her to disqualify Gilani and should Capture Golden opportunity of becoming Prime Minister herself.

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  • Kirn munawar
    May 24, 2012 - 5:33PM

    speaker proved the dignity of her office by giving decision and not acted as a post office.

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  • AmMaD
    May 24, 2012 - 5:33PM

    Nothing New, As expected from the Speaker of NA. #ShameOnFahmidaMirza #PPPFail

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  • May 24, 2012 - 5:38PM

    she has used her powers whether you like it or not…………………………

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  • Arsalan Ahmad
    May 24, 2012 - 5:45PM

    this was to be expected…hope now that supreme court moves to use their emergency authority

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  • PS
    May 24, 2012 - 5:48PM

    What a great surprise!!!

    Since we do not want to accept and abide by the decisions of the judiciary if they are not to our liking, we might as well wrap them up and send them packing.

    Just imagine a cricket game where the umpires declares a batsman out (right or wrong), but the batsman insists that his fate should be decided by the spectators watching the game (awam ki dalat) or by his tour manager.
    Is mulk ka khuda hi hafiz hai.

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  • Adnan Ali
    May 24, 2012 - 5:54PM

    As per the constitution, it is not her right to decide the merits of SC’s decision. It is the matter to be dealt with in an appeal.

    She had the simple job of ascertaining if a question of disqualification had arisen. In this case, the court order mentions 63(1)G, which in turn puts the onus of disqualification on a judgement by a court. That is the case as the SC has ascertained, not only that 63(1)G is invoked, but also that the fleeting, minor punishment given till the rising of the bench was in lieu of the more heavier punishment as a result of the invoking of the aforementioned article.

    This is a sham. She has violated the letter and spirit of the constitution. She has subjugated the authority of the Supreme Court as the sole interpreter of the constitution.

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  • citizen
    May 24, 2012 - 5:55PM

    what a shame .

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  • Acorn Guts
    May 24, 2012 - 5:59PM

    Dr Mirza consulted law experts including Aitzaz Ahsan …

    Really? Consult the defence lawyer of the culprit if the punishment should be handed out or not? Genius .. just genius!

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  • Allah Ditta Pakistani
    May 24, 2012 - 6:00PM

    Gillani live long, Zardari live long, PPP lived its last this time.

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  • Yousaf Hyat
    May 24, 2012 - 6:08PM

    wow what a surprising decision…May the truth of Law prevail…

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  • Qaiser K. Ahmed
    May 24, 2012 - 6:17PM

    The fault lies with Supreme Court. Their wishy washy decision on Gilani was the worst performance by a seven bench supreme court legal mind. I think it is time we appoint some new judges. Judges who are intelligent and brave.

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  • Mr. Honest
    May 24, 2012 - 6:17PM

    Democracy is the best revenge… Jiyee Bhuttoo…

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  • Khurram Khalid
    May 24, 2012 - 6:18PM

    Well done Ms Speaker!!

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  • Salman Khan
    May 24, 2012 - 6:25PM

    Judges and Generals hold a grudge against PPP, first they tried to dislodge the government through Memo commission, when failed they tried to attack our PM but they will never succeed, democratic forces will prevail. In this instance our speaker used her powers. With Maulvi Iqbal Haider appealing referernce for PM’s disqualification it has become crystal clear that who is pulling the strings.

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  • ishaq
    May 24, 2012 - 6:51PM

    Well Done Speaker Sahiba

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  • Amjad
    May 24, 2012 - 7:11PM

    Well done Speaker

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    May 24, 2012 - 7:17PM

    Well done Madam Speaker. Nothing more to add except Parliament is Supreme.

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  • Saqibtahir
    May 24, 2012 - 7:28PM

    @Logic Europe:
    In turn speaker will issue a contempt of parliament notice to him. If some one thinks that judges is almighty then they are sadly mistaken. Ptresident has a power to send references against all judges. Mahtir Muhammad of Malaysia removed the whole Supereme court in 80’s.Recommend

  • elcay
    May 24, 2012 - 8:13PM

    So she is a constitutional expert now. All those 7 judges are below par to her !

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  • ParvezM
    May 24, 2012 - 8:13PM

    I for one am shocked at support of convicted PM and outlaw PPP. Let me warn that good societies have existed without democracy but no society has ever prospered without Law and Justice.

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  • Blithe
    May 24, 2012 - 8:17PM

    A sad and dark day in Pakistan’s history.

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  • HADI SAKEY
    May 24, 2012 - 8:28PM

    Since when Dr. Fahmida has become expert on Constitutional Law. She has been prompted by Aitazaz to spell out clause by clause disagreement. But we knew from the beginning that she will do what Zardari wants. She cannot dare to annoy him under any circumstances. May be she has been induced that in the next term she will be the Prime Minister. Recommend

  • Pungi
    May 24, 2012 - 8:37PM

    Tsunami March??

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  • Concerned
    May 24, 2012 - 9:08PM

    The story of Alibaba and the 40 thieves is being repeated in Pakistan and the pass word of khajana(Swiss bank money} is a well kept secret and shall not circulated by its leader.

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  • am
    May 24, 2012 - 9:21PM

    we want revolution get rid OF all these maFIA PARTIES PMLN,PPP,JUIF,MQM,Q,ANP THEY ALL ONLY CARE ABOUT THEIR OWN PARTIES AND PEOPLE OF PAKISTAN

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  • Hairaan
    May 24, 2012 - 10:26PM

    Democracy is the best revenge.

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  • Mirza
    May 24, 2012 - 10:42PM

    Kudos to Dr. Mirza for her courage. Apart from her qualifications constitution gave her the powers as the elected speaker of the elected NA which is supreme body and makes and changes constitution. Nothing backdoor here except some do not like her verdict.
    All those who keep talking about the convicted PM, where in the civilized world did an elected PM was convicted for contempt and had to leave? Can anybody provide specific examples? As far as the SC decisions go against the PPP govt, they have always been wrong. The nation has always rejected them and elected PPP again and again. ZAB was convicted for the worst crime and hanged. Where are the judges and Gen Zia who convicted ZAB? They are all dead in history and those alive in hiding, whereas ZAB and his party still in power. When would the judges and their masters listen to the people? The speaker is not a dummy but independent thinker unlike the 17 unanimous PCO judges.

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  • dv sikka
    May 24, 2012 - 11:49PM

    PPP has given Pakistan a new slogan ‘We damn Care’.

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  • Mehriene
    May 25, 2012 - 12:20AM

    @Mirza,there are no specific examples of PRime Ministers committing contempt because NO PRIME MINISTER has ever dared to commit one !!! As for Madame Speaker, if she HAD been an independant Thinker ,her ruling would have been different , she has shown us very clearly that she takes dictation from Zardari ! What a disappointment she is . I don’t know what the problem with PPP is…they just don’t believe in the rule of law ! As far as they are concerned there is only one law……Zardari ko bachchao law !

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  • Logic Europe
    May 25, 2012 - 12:27AM

    @ mirza ,only in Pakistan can elected govt be humiliated but is it elected govt? no ,otherwisenhow could a judge be interfering in all departments, Democracy has become stronger but courts have become weaker ansd have last credibility ,
    only people who support this the exiled,rejected.andn politicians who hope that after this govt is gone they will have a chance

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  • Lala Gee
    May 25, 2012 - 12:32AM

    @Mirza:

    “Kudos to Dr. Mirza for her courage. ………. The speaker is not a dummy but independent thinker unlike the 17 unanimous PCO judges.”

    How many times I have to clarify you that not all of the judges of current Supreme Court are PCO judges, and even though the ones who took oath under PCO have been accepted by the people and the Parliament of Pakistan as well as PPP leaders like Benazir and Aitezaz Ahsan, the same way you say Bhutto’s act of supporting and working for military government of Ayub Khan was forgiven by the people of Pakistan by electing him. Further, another pack of PCO judges, aka Dogar courts, were perfectly Okay for you as they had turned a blind eye towards the corruption and plunder of PPP leadership. I wonder what kind of a person anyone could be who claims to be a well wisher of the state of Pakistan but yet support the corrupt and most inapt people in the history of Pakistan.

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  • Tch tch
    May 25, 2012 - 12:33AM

    @Mirza: Courage of being a predictable sycophant??? (i.e Jiyala).

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  • MACHO
    May 25, 2012 - 12:52AM

    You wont find such blatant defiance of orders of the judiciary any where in the world.What sort of rule of law would exist, when the executive gives a crap about the superior judiciary ?

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  • Ahsan Omer
    May 25, 2012 - 1:19AM

    I ain’t a student of law and never read constitution of Pak but i have always learnt to grade Morality higher than any law……….and moral values of premier of Islamic Republic of Pakistan are lost some where or no one taught him the lesson of morality…

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  • faraz
    May 27, 2012 - 4:23PM

    Accused->Convicted->Disqualified. Isn’t this was law says?

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