Photo of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani outside the Supreme Court premises. Gilani was convicted for contempt of court for not writing a letter to the Swiss authorities for reopening money laundering cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.—AFP (File Photo)

ISLAMABAD: The opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) have filed two separate petitions in the Supreme Court, challenging National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza’s ruling to save Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani from disqualification, DawnNews reported.

Both the petitions filed Monday challenge NA Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza’s decision refusing to forward a disqualification against the prime minister to the Election Commission of Pakistan, a month after the Supreme Court convicted Gilani of contempt.

The petition by the PML-N was filed by Sialkot MNA Khwaja Mohammad Asif under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, arguing that the premier stands disqualified in light of the apex court’s verdict and that he should be barred from performing further duties as the prime minister.

In the petition, a copy of which is available with Dawn, Khwaja Asif has made the speaker, the prime minister and the federation through the law secretary as respondents. Since the PML-N does not recognise Mr Gilani as legitimate prime minister after his conviction last month by a seven-judge bench on contempt charges, Mr Asif has described him in the petition as an MNA and not as the prime minister.

The PML-N MNA has requested the apex court to declare the speaker’s ruling “arbitrary, capricious and illegal” and ‘restrain’ Mr Gilani “from continuing to act as a member of the National Assembly and from exercising the powers of the prime minister, pending final adjudication of this petition”.

He has also requested the court to “direct the Election Commission of Pakistan to expeditiously decide” the question of Mr Gilani’s disqualification “as required under Article 63(3)”.

PTI’s petition, filed by party chairman Imran Khan, similarly asks the apex court to restrain Gilani from further acting as the prime minister, and to declare Speaker Fehmida Mirza’s ruling unlawful.

Moreover, Khan’s petition also requests the court to instruct the Election Commision of Pakistan (ECP) to decide on Gilani’s eligibility as premier.

On April 26, PM Gilani was convicted for contempt of court for not writing a letter to the Swiss authorities for reopening money laundering cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

The petitions come after the PPP announced that it was not filing an appeal before the apex court against the prime minister’s conviction and 37-second sentence by a seven-judge bench on contempt charges.

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