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Challenging PM Gilani is premature

May 03, 2012

ISLAMABAD, May 2: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has asked a petitioner who sought removal of the convicted Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to wait for the detailed judgment of the Supreme Court in the contempt case.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the IHC told advocate G.M. Chaudhry on Wednesday that his petition was premature. In this regard, the judge pointedly observed that Article 63(g) of the Constitution, which the Supreme Court’s short order attracted, contains over a dozen clauses and deals with matters pertaining to the disqualification of members of parliament, not the prime minister.

There is a possibility that the detailed judgment deals with the disqualification of the prime minister in more detail, he said. Advocate Chaudhry still insisted that his petition be adjourned until then.

Chaudhry Mohammad Ashraf, another lawyer, submitted that instead of waiting for the detailed order, IHC might restrain the prime minister from attending the proceedings of the Parliament.

Justice Siddiqui however, at the end, declared the petition as withdrawn with the consent of the petitioner.

Apart from Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, the petition cited all the federal ministers, ministers of state, advisers and special assistants to the prime minister, speaker National Assembly, Chief Election Commissioner, secretaries cabinet, law and attorney general as respondents.

In his petition advocate Chaudhry submitted that in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (g) of clause (1) of Article 63 of the Constitution Mr Gilani stands disqualified from being a member of the National Assembly following his conviction by the Supreme Court for repeatedly defying its orders to write a letter to the Swiss authorities.

As such Mr Gilani has become stranger for the lower house and could not attend the proceedings of the National Assembly, the petitioner argued.

Accordingly all the federal ministers, state ministers and advisers cannot hold their offices and the cabinet should have been dissolved, he added.

According to him, Mr Gilani had advised for appointment of all the federal and state ministers under clause (1) of Article 92 of the Constitution and such advice has become irrelevant after his conviction.

Similarly, appointments of the advisers and special assistants of the prime minister have also become illegal and unconstitutional, he added.

He wanted the court to stop Mr Gilani to “pretend as prime minister” after his conviction by the Supreme Court with a further direction for withdrawing all privileges of the office from him “from the date of his conviction and disqualification”.

Petitioner Chaudhry also wanted the IHC to direct secretary cabinet to “de-notify the appointments the prime minister and all the ministers” from the same date.