Supreme Court of Pakistan debars Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raja Gilani from Office
The Supreme Court of Pakistan debarred Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raja Gilani from his office and also disqualified Gilani as the member of the National Assembly, the lower house of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament).
- The court’s ruling came after Gilani refused to launch probe against Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.
The 3-judge Bench of the highest Pakistani court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry found Gilani ineligible for the post since April 26, 2012 when the court awarded him a symbolic 30-second sentence for the contempt of court. The court also asked the President to take essential steps under the Constitution to ensure continuation of the democratic process via the parliamentary system of Govt.
As per Fehmida Mirza, Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly, Gilani can’t be disqualified as the PM of the country as the conviction for the contempt of court awarded to him does not merit disqualification.
Since 1988, Gilani had been the member of Pakistan’s National Assembly from Multan-IV constituency. He led Pakistan People Party (PPP) to victory in 2008 general elections and presided over as the 16th Prime Minister Pakistan.
What was the controversy?
- It was alleged that when Benazir Ali Bhutto, wife of Asif Ali Zardari, was the Prime Minister of the country during 1990s, Zardari accepted an estimated $12 million in bribes by the companies looking for customs inspection contracts, and stashed the amount to his Swiss Bank account
- Thus, Prime Minster Yusuf Raja Gilani was directed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to ask Swiss authorities to reopen cases of multi-million dollar money laundering cases against the President Asif Ali Zardari.
- But the Prime Minister refused to follow, quoting constitutional immunity enjoyed by the president as the reason.
- Gilani was convicted for disobeying the article 63(1) (g) (contempt of court) of the Pakistan’s constitution.