Supreme Court issues notice to PM Gilani, NA speaker
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notices to Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, Attorney General Irfan Qadir, National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza, the Election Commission and the Federation while hearing identical petitions challenging NA Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza’s ruling not to pass on the disqualification reference against the prime minister to the election commission.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was hearing the petitions filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), advocate Azhar Chaudhry and others challenging the NA speaker’s ruling of May 28 that there was no question of PM’s disqualification.
A K Dogar, the counsel for petitioner Azhar Chaudhry, told the court that the prime minister was disqualified because of the application of Article 63 (1) (g) of the Constitution. He said the NA speaker’s ruling would lead to the collapse and paralysis of administration of justice. Dogar further submitted that the petition was filed under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, which refers to fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution under articles 9, 14, 17 and 25, adding that the same were violated by the respondents and the Federation.
He submitted that premier Gilani was convicted and sentenced by a seven-member bench on April 26 for contempt of court under Article 204(2) of the Constitution read with Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance (Ordinance V of 2003) for willfully flouting, disregarding and disobeying the court’s direction in para 178 of the NRO judgment.
He further said that after his conviction, the PM had not filed any appeal against the court judgment. At this, the court asked the judicial registrar of its office whether any appeal was filed either at the principal seat in Islamabad or some other branch registry. The registrar responded in the negative.
Hence, the court issued notices to the NA speaker and prime minister, observing that the Constitution would be strictly followed in the country.
Hamid Khan, counsel for PTI Chairman Imran Khan, also appeared before the court and contended that the NA speaker’s ruling was without jurisdiction and unlawful.
PML-N leader and advocate Zafar Ali Shah, the petitioner, also appeared before the court and requested the court to direct the president to summon a parliament session to discuss the ruling of the speaker.
The CJ, however, asked the petitioner to raise the issue in parliament. Syed Zafar Ali Shah, however, replied that after the ruling of speaker, the president had hailed the ruling, making it difficult for parliamentarians to approach parliament, which was why he had knocked on the doors of the court.
Mahmood Akhtar Naqvi, another petitioner, also appeared before the court and contended that after having been convicted in a contempt of court case, Yusuf Raza Gilani was disqualified from the office of prime minister; and was thus constitutionally not competent to remain in the office.
Meanwhile, the court issued a notice to the National Assembly speaker and prime minister in the petition and adjourned the hearing of identical petitions till June 16.