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Court says PM not disqualified

May 11, 2012

ISLAMABAD, May 11: The Islamabad High Court on Friday observed that the Supreme Court had not disqualified Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in the contempt case, rather referred the matter to other constitutional forums.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui passed the remarks while hearing a petition filed by G.M. Chaudhry Advocate to stop Mr Gilani from working as the prime minister after his conviction by the Supreme Court.

The judge said restraining the prime minister from performing his duties would have an impact on the entire country and the court would not proceed with the matter unless the petitioner proved that the Supreme Court had disqualified him for the post.

He asked the petitioner how he would declare the prime minister disqualified and not competent to hold office when there was not a single sentence in the Supreme Court judgment that can establish his disqualification.

The Supreme Court could disqualify the prime minister or even restrain him from exercising his powers but it didn’t. Instead, the apex court wanted the constitutional bodies to apply their wisdom as the disqualification of a parliamentarian was clearly defined in the constitution under which the speaker National Assembly can send the matter to the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Courts decide cases according to the constitution, not what morality, politics, democracy and history say, said Justice Siddiqui. The petitioner told the court that it should not wait for the prime minister’s appeal as a larger bench could not be constituted for hearing of the appeal due to the shortage of judges in the Supreme Court.

After the court put a number of questions to Advocate Chaudhry, he withdrew the petition. —A Reporter