Supreme Court of Pakistan
The Supreme Court of Pakistan. —File Photo

ISLAMABAD:The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned the contempt of court hearing against Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani till Thursday, DawnNews reported.

Presenting his arguments regarding presidential immunity before the apex today, the prime minister’s counsel, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, said heads of state enjoyed immunity from prosecution in criminal and civil cases in courts the world over, DawnNews reported.

Ahsan was addressing a seven-member bench of the court, headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk.

During today's hearing, Ahsan concluded his arguments with respect to Article 10-A of the Constitution.

Speaking to reporters after the hearing's adjournment, Ahsan said that he expected the court to refrain from asking the prime minister to write the letter.

The parliament is independent regarding the law and constitution, said Ahsan, adding that the parliament was the only authority that can make constitutional ammendments.

“The Parliament can nullify any order of the court,” said Ahsan. “The Supreme Court should refrain from asking the government to write the letter. The court’s orders will be implemented once Zardari is no longer president.”

The prime minister was charged with contempt of court on Feb 13 over the government’s two-year refusal to write to authorities in Switzerland asking them to re-open corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

“In respect of the president, the matter of writing the letter should be delayed. This is not Asif Ali Zardari’s problem — this matter involves the country’s president,” argued the prime minister’s lawyer.

Moreover, Ahsan reiterated to the reporters his stand that a new bench should be constituted to hear the case. The defence argues that, under the Constitution’s Article 10-A, any judge who has charged the defendant is ineligible to hear the same case, therefore the current bench can not continue hearing the case.

Updated Apr 18, 2012 09:00am

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