Gilani can`t be stopped from performing duties: HC

Gilani can`t be stopped from performing his duties as the SC did not disqualify him when it convicted him for contempt, the HC here has observed.

Islamabad: Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani cannot be stopped from performing his duties as the Supreme Court did not disqualify him when it convicted him for contempt, the High Court here has observed.

There is no mention of Gilani`s disqualification in the Supreme Court`s detailed judgement regarding his conviction for contempt for failing to reopen graft cases in Switzerland against President Asif Ali Zardari, the Islamabad High Court noted.

It further observed that the apex court had referred the issue of disqualification to other constitutional forums.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the High Court made the observations on Friday while hearing a petition filed by lawyer GM Chaudhry, who had asked the court to stop Gilani from working as the Premier after his conviction.

Siddiqui said restraining the Premier from performing his duties would have an impact on the country and the High Court would not proceed with the matter unless Chaudhry proved that the Supreme Court had disqualified Gilani.

The judge asked the petitioner how he would declare the Premier disqualified when there was not a single sentence in the Supreme Court`s detailed order that established his disqualification.

Instead, the apex court wanted Constitutional bodies to decide the matter as the disqualification of a lawmaker is clearly defined in the Constitution.

Gilani, currently on an official visit to Britain, has refused to resign following his conviction on April 26.

The government has said only the Speaker of the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament can decide the issue of Gilani`s disqualification.

Justice Siddiqui further said that courts decide cases according to the Constitution and not what morality, politics, democracy and history say.

Chaudhry later withdrew his petition.

In a separate development, lawyer Azhar Siddique yesterday filed a constitutional petition in the apex court, asking it to bar Gilani and his Cabinet from carrying on with their duties.
Siddique filed the petition through his counsel AK Dogar, also the lawyer for Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed.