Gilani’s disqualification: Pak SC seeks responses

Pakistan`s Supreme Court has sought responses to several petitions seeking disqualification of the Premier.

Updated: Jun 07, 2012, 14:37 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan`s Supreme Court has sought responses from Speaker Fehmida Mirza, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and the Election Commission to several petitions seeking disqualification of the Premier following his conviction for contempt.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry directed them to respond by June 14, when the apex court will hear the matter again.

The court has admitted petitions by several persons, including Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, questioning the Speaker`s decision not to disqualify the Premier following his conviction.

Gilani was convicted for contempt by the apex court on April 26 and given a symbolic sentence of less than a minute for refusing to revive graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari in Switzerland.

The Premier has rejected demands from the opposition to quit following his conviction.

The Speaker of the National Assembly last month ruled out the disqualification of Gilani, saying he had not been charged with acting in a manner prejudicial to the integrity or independence of the judiciary.

The Speaker and Gilani are not required to appear in person at the hearing on June 14 and can be represented by their counsel.

In its order issued yesterday, the apex court observed that since the Prime Minister has not filed any written or verbal appeal against his conviction after the lapse of 30 days, the verdict is now a conceded judgement.

The bench expressed surprise at how Gilani had not made any effort to remove the stigma though the ruling Pakistan People`s Party had sought to clear its founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto`s name even after his execution.