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AJK high court disqualifies PM Sardar Tanveer Ilyas

Decision comes in the contempt of court case against Sardar Tanveer Ilyas, making him the first AJK premier to be disqualified for contempt of court

By Arif Urfi
April 11, 2023

Sardar Tanveer Ilyas addressing AJK Legislative Assembly. — Twitter/@PMOAJK
Sardar Tanveer Ilyas addressing AJK Legislative Assembly. — Twitter/@PMOAJK

In a major development, Azad Jammu and Kashmir's (AJK) high court removed Sardar Tanveer Ilyas from the post of prime minister, making him the first premier of the region to be disqualified in contempt of court case. 

The decision of the high court comes after Ilyas was summoned to AJK's supreme court and high court for using a "threatening tone" in one of his speeches.

Earlier in the day, PM Ilyas was welcomed by the PTI members as he appeared before the high court

A full bench, led by Justice Sadaqat Hussain Raja, conducted the hearing of the case. During the hearing, the clips featuring the prime minister were played.

During the hearing, the AJK PM Ilyas gave an unconditional apology to the court, saying "I apologise unconditionally if any of my words hurt the judge."

Later, the AJK premier was sentenced till the rising of the court.

The full bench of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) High Court had summoned Ilyas today in a contempt notice taken on his speech at a public meeting.

An order was issued by a two-member bench on a newspaper clipping citing the speech of the prime minister. The bench stated that the decision was taken in a meeting of the judges where the issue was discussed at a considerable length and all of them noted that the overall conduct of the prime minister was contemptuous.

The high court registrar had been directed to issue a notice to the AJK prime minister through his principal secretary to appear in person before the court today and explain his position. The registrar had also been directed to fix the matter before a full bench.

Ilyas, a day earlier, had criticised the stay orders issued by the courts and said the practice was affecting the performance of the government. The stay orders were temporary orders that must be decided within days but they lingered for years, he added.

Respecting court decisions important: Fawad

PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry said that it is important to respect the decisions of the court whether it is the prime minister of Pakistan or AJK as the country cannot run by destroying the judicial system.

"AJK prime minister should tender an apology to the court," said Fawad, hoping that the Supreme Court would grant him relief.

AJK Supreme Court hearing

Following his high court appearance, Ilyas appeared in the AJK Supreme Court in the contempt of court case.

During the hearing, AJK Chief Justice Raja Saeed Akram Khan asked him: “This is your speech?”

He reprimanded the PTI leader for his statements, saying it was Ilyas’s responsibility to support the courts.

The AJK CJ then asked: “Why didn't you come here when you had a problem with the judiciary?”

He said the judiciary had shown “tolerance” towards the premier’s criticism in the assembly.

He then told the AJK premier that the positions given to those in power “are given only by Allah”.

“It is a special gift from God that you are in this position,” he chided Ilyas, declaring that his statement was a “direct contempt of court”.

Stating that the case was very obvious, the AKJ CJ said there was “no need for any process”.

He concluded by saying that he was issuing a notice to the AJK prime minister.

“Reply in writing within two weeks,” he directed.