ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has issued its detailed verdict in Prime Minister Gilani’s contempt of court case.
The 77-page verdict written by Justice Nasirul Mulk contains a 6-page additional note by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.
The contempt conviction may result in disqualification of PM Gilani from Parliament for five years, the detailed order said.
The verdict noted that Prime Minister Gilani willfully, deliberately and persistently defied a clear direction of the highest Court of the country. We are, therefore, fully satisfied that such clear and persistent defiance at such a high level constitutes contempt which is substantially detrimental to the administration of justice and tends not only to bring this Court but also brings the judiciary of this country into ridicule. After all, if orders or directions of the highest court of the country are defied by the highest Executive of the country then others in the country may also feel tempted to follow the example leading to a collapse or paralysis of administration of justice besides creating an atmosphere wherein judicial authority and verdicts are laughed at and ridiculed.
The verdict also mentioned the possible effects of Article 63 (1)(g) on PM Gilani’s eligibility as member parliament and that he was punished under section 5 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance.
“It may not be lost sight of that, apart from the other consequences, by virtue of the provisions of clauses (g) and (h) of Article 63(1) read with Article 113 of the Constitution a possible conviction on such a charge may entail a disqualification from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) or a Provincial Assembly for at least a period of five years.”
The verdict stated that even after receiving the advice the final authority lies with the Prime Minister and it was his responsibility to implement the court orders.
The judgement said: “We may mention that when the learned counsel for the Respondent during submissions stated that the Respondent was not aware of the orders of the Court, the then Attorney-General, Moulvi Anwar-ul-Haq intervened that he had conveyed all the relevant orders to the Prime Minister. Perhaps, that may have been the reason that before arguments could be addressed by the Attorney-General, he was replaced. We have no doubt that the Respondent was made aware of the order of 16.01.2012. Be that as it may, on his appearance in response to the show cause notice, he still expressed his unwillingness to obey the Court’s orders.
On April 26, the Supreme Court convicted the PM for his willful intent of not complying with its order regarding writing a letter to the Swiss authorities for the reopening of illegal wealth cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. Within hours, the government announced its decision to appeal against the verdict.