PM conviction – the battle will go on!

May 11th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest, Media Watch, Pakistan

Though the much awaited detailed verdict handed down by the seven-member bench in the contempt of court case against PM Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani fell short of the expectations of many, but the verdict has at least cleared the mist of confusion on the political horizon, putting the Prime Minister in the irreversible process of disqualification.

However, the PPP would be getting their planned design of lingering the legal course till final conclusion of the on-going legal battle is successfully executed, courtesy the lengthy and tedious legal process. But the detailed judgment in the contempt of court case had sealed the fate of the Prime Minister who would hardly avoid disqualification as member Parliament.But the Prime Minister’s “sacrifice” surely would buy some more breathing space for the ruling coalition to sail through the troubled waters by successfully presenting the fifth and final budget, which would be the only constitutional obligation to be met by the ruling coalition.

The decision of going in appeal against the judgment was already made by the PPP leadership, even much before the handing down of the short order of the court on April 26. Some senior party leader, who did not want to disclose their identity, said that the conviction of Prime Minister in the case was obvious and that was the reason they had already decided that they would exhaust all legal and constitutional remedies in the on-going battle with the superior judiciary.

Some insiders in the party said that the legal brains of the party would file appeal against the verdict in the case for which right now the court has not requisite strength to constitute a larger bench to take up the appeal. At present out of the nine available judges apart from the seven members who had convicted the Prime Minister in contempt of court case, three had expressed their inability to sit in the larger bench leaving the court with just six judges. So in given circumstances the court would be requiring at least two more ad hoc or additional judges to constitute a larger bench to take up the appeal of the Prime Minister.

The determination of the Prime Minister to go into appeal could be judged well from the fact that he did not even wait for landing of his plane in London and gave statement on-board his special plane that he would file appeal against the court judgment for which instructions had already been given to his counsel Barrister Ch. Aitzaz Ahsan.

Under the law, the Prime Minister could file an appeal against his conviction, which could ultimately lead to his disqualification as member of the Parliament, till May 26 as the 30-days time would be counted from the day of handing down of the short order by the court. In the meanwhile, the Supreme Court would initiate the legal process of getting the court order implemented by sending the copy of detailed judgment simultaneously to Speaker National Assembly and Chief Election Commissioner.

Speaker National Assembly, under the rules of business and procedure, is bound to forward the reference against Prime Minister to Chief Election Commissioner within 30 days period for action while the Chief Election Commissioner would have 90 days at maximum to de-notify him as member of the Parliament which would automatically remove him for the slot of Prime Minister.Pakistan People’s Party wants to have breathing space for another couple of months to successfully present the fifth and final budget and then the Prime Minister could even resign portraying that the PPP has great respect for the judiciary and try to mould the public opinion in their favour.

Anyone from the party would step in his shoes as Prime Minister to again defy the court’s direction in the NRO implementation case and could drag the matter till the holding of next elections and establishment of the caretaker set up. By the time they would successfully exhaust the premature campaigns being launched by some of the political parties with Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) as the forerunners. Political and legal analysts watching the situation were of the view that Mian Nawaz Sharif had made some hasty decision after the handing down of the short order of the apex court convicting the PM and should have waited till the detailed judgement. Similarly Pakistan Tehreek-I-Insaf and Jamaat-I-Islami have to follow PML-N and as they were not prepared for it their shows in support of the superior judiciary were off-colour or they could not leave some marked impact, which would definitely have some sort of impact on the judiciary as well.

These analysts were of the view that contrary to the political players the judiciary was playing safe and were not in haste in getting their orders implemented and that was the reason the judges of the superior courts were adopting judicial restraint in their decision and handling of various cases. Even in the detailed judgment in the contempt of court case against Prime Minister the seven-member bench could have given some clear-cut direction to Chief Election Commissioner for disqualification of the Premier but the court had once again showed judicial restraint, leaving the matter of Prime Minister’s disqualification to be executed through the laid down legal and constitutional process.

The legal and constitutional experts are of the view that despite the provocative statements and sarcastic remarks coming from PPP leadership the Supreme Court of Pakistan has not taken any hostile posture against the rulers while dealing with cases of sensitive nature and adopted judicial restraint to avoid clash-like situation to save the institutions as well as the on-going political process.

With all this battle and political tug of war going on the masses remain an irrelevant entity, busy in sorting out load shedding, protesting in the streets, committing suicides, selling their children while the convicted Prime Minister is on a lavish and luxurious ‘official’ trip to UK with a big team on Tax Payers’ money representing a poor and war stricken nation.


Syed Abid Gilani

About the author

Syed Abid Gillani is journalist and writer from Islamabad. He keeps a close eye on current affairs of Pakistan

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  1. Please correct the title of the article. There is some typing error. The correct Title is : PM conviction: the bastards will go on!!

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