Pakistani PM disqualified by Supreme Court

ISLAMABAD — The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan disqualified Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani as the prime minister in its short order of the NA Speaker ruling case on Tuesday.

“Yousuf Raza Gilani is disqualified from membership of parliament from April 26, the date of his conviction. He has also ceased to be the prime minister of Pakistan,” said chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, reading the order.

“The Election Commission shall issue a notice of disqualification and the president is required to take necessary steps to ensure continuation of democratic process,” he added.

The apex court was seized with identical petitions challenging National Assembly Speaker Dr. Fehmida Mirza’s rulings not to send a reference for the prime minister’s disqualification to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and comprising Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain heard the identical petitions, filed by the PML-N, Tehreek-e-Insaf, two opposition parties and others against the NA speaker’s ruling over the disqualification of the prime minister.

During today’s proceedings, the Chief Justice remarked that PM Gilani’s conviction could have been suspended if it was challenged. ‘Only the appellate court can review a judicial ruling, no one can wipe away a judicial ruling.’

The apex court had earlier convicted the Prime Minister on April 26 last in contempt of court case ‘till rising of the court’, which was just few seconds as the judges had left the courtroom soon as announcing the verdict. The Prime Minister Gilani was then labeled as ‘Convicted Prime Minister.  He didn’t file appeal against conviction, as in the meantime the NA Speaker ruled out against dislodging the Gilani from the office of Prime Minister.

Yousuf Raza Gilani was convicted for disobeying the court orders for writing the Swiss court to initiate the proceedings against President Asif Ali Zardari in corruption cases.

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