ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) has disqualified Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani as the prime minister in its short order of the NA Speaker ruling case, Geo News reported.
"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.
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The apex court was seized with identical petitions challenging NA 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 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.'
Following is the text of the SC order:
Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, CJ.- For reasons to be recorded later, the titled petitions are disposed of as under:
(1) This Court in exercise of jurisdiction under Article 184(3) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan is competent to ensure enforcement of the fundamental rights of the citizens in all matters of public importance;
(2) The Speaker of the National Assembly under Article 63(2) of the Constitution exercises powers, which are not covered by the definition of internal proceedings of Majlise-Shoora, therefore, this Court, in exercise of power of judicial review, is not debarred from inquiring into the order dated 25.05.2012. Reference in this behalf may be made to the cases of Mining Industries of Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd. v. Deputy Speaker, Balochistan Provincial Assembly (PLD 2006 Quetta 36), Madad Ali v. Province of Sindh (1996 SCMR 366), Shams-ud-Din v. Speaker, Balochistan Provincial Assembly (1994 MLD 2500), Muhammad Naeem Akhtar v. Speaker, Sindh Provincial Assembly (1992 CLC 2043), Farzand Ali v. Province of West Pakistan (PLD 1970 SC 98); Muhammad Anwar Durrani v. Province of Baluchistan (PLD 1989 Quetta 25); Jagjit Singh v. State of Haryana (AIR 2007 SC 590) and Rajendra Singh Rana v. Swami Prasad Maurya (AIR 2007 SC 1305);
(3) As a Bench of 7 Hon'ble Judges vide judgment dated 26.04.2012 followed by the detailed reasons released on 08.05.2012 has found Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani guilty of contempt of Court under Article 204(2) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 read with section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003 and sentenced him to undergo imprisonment till rising of the Court under section 5 of the said Ordinance, and since no appeal was filed against this judgment, the conviction has attained finality. Therefore, Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani has become disqualified from being a Member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) in terms of Article 63(1)(g) of the Constitution on and from the date and time of pronouncement of the judgment of this Court dated 26.04.2012 with all consequences, i.e. he has also ceased to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan with effect from the said date and the office of the Prime Minister shall be deemed to be vacant accordingly;
(4) The Election Commission of Pakistan is required to issue notification of disqualification of Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani from being a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora w.e.f. 26.4.2012; and
(5) The President of Pakistan is required to take necessary steps under the Constitution to ensure continuation of the democratic process through parliamentary system of government in the country.
ECP notifies disqualification
The Election Commission of Pakistan issued the notification with regards to the disqualification of Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani hours after the court order.
According to the notification Gilani was disqualified as a member of the National Assembly with effect from April 26, 2012.
Following is the text of the notification issued today by Acting Secretary Syed Sher Afgan.
"No.F.8(14)/2012-Cord.- Consequent upon disqualification of Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani from being a Member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of Pakistan, vide Order dated 19th June, 2012 passed in Constitution Petition No. 40/2012 (Muhammad Azhar Siddique Vs Federation of Pakistan etc.) and other connected matters in terms of Article 63(1)(g) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on and from the date and time of pronouncement of the judgment of the Supreme Court dated 26.04.2012, the Election Commission of Pakistan hereby issues Notification of disqualification of Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani as Member National Assembly of Pakistan with effect from 26.04.2012 and in consequence thereof the Notification No.F.2(4)/2008-Cord. dated the 1st March, 2008 to the extent of declaring him as returned candidate from National Assembly Constituency No. NA-151 Multan-IV stands rescinded with effect from 26.04.2012."
PPP accepts decision
Pakistan People's Party convened its parliamentary party meeting for Wednesday in the wake of Yusuf Raza Gilani's disqualification. Qamar Zaman Kaira said PPP has its reservations over the Supreme Court's judgment, however, he advised the party workers to observe patience and not to engage in any sort of protest.
He said the PPP will decide its future course of action after holding consultations with its coalition partners.
Raja Pervez Ashraf said, the democratic process would continue without interruption and PPP would continue to play its positive role in the greater interest of the country.
He said the CEC authorized President Asif Ali Zardari to finalize as to what line of action PPP will follow in future. "He (President Zardari) will do everything that is in the interest of the country, its parliament and democracy," he added.
PML-N demands elections
Pakistan Muslim League-N President Nawaz Sharif said by disobeying the court's verdict, the prime minister not only dishonoured the judiciary but also hurt his own dignity.
Speaking in Geo News programme 'Aaj Kamran Khan Kay Saath', Nawaz Sharif described the disqualification of Yusuf Raza Gilani by the Supreme Court as a true accountability.
"No matter who becomes the new prime minister, he will have to write the letter (to the Swiss authorities to open graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari)," he said.