ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has decided not to file appeal against contempt conviction by the Supreme Court as deadline passed at 12:00pm on Saturday.
Former Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Aitzaz Ahsan, who was counsel of PM Gilani in contempt of court case, said the decision was made in consultation with the party leaders.
The sources said the Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani pondered over the question regarding the submission of review petition against the court’s ruling in consultation with his close aides, legal advisers and leaders of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and decided not to file the plea.
It should be mentioned here that a seven-strong bench convicted him of contempt of court on April 26, for avoiding court orders for over two years to implement apex court’s National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) verdict and wrote a letter to Swiss government to re-open graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
However, the court, in a historic step, punished PM Gilani which remained in effect ‘till the rising of the court’ that made only 30 seconds.
Earlier, National Assembly Speaker Dr. Fahmida Mirza, in an expected move, opted not to file the reference against Gilani to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), saying, “There was no question of his disqualification as a member of the National Assembly.”
Before the announcement not to file review petition, Aitzaz Ahsan told the media that Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza made a right decision by not sending the reference against the premier to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Aitzaz said the apex court’s verdict mentioned the ‘possibility’ of Gilani’s ineligibility as the prime minister, while the speaker has questioned of ‘possibility’. He said only the speaker is authorized to make decision on the question of ineligibility of any member of the National Assembly.
Aitzaz said he worked very hard to file an appeal against the prime minister’s conviction, adding that he would be disappointed if the government decided against filing the appeal.
He said the judges repeatedly said during the hearing of the contempt case that the prime minister ridiculed the judiciary during his address in Bahawalpur. He said this is a separate matter which needs a separate indictment and then the court could proceed further in this regard.
Aitzaz said the speaker in her ruling mentioned that ex-PML-N MNA Javed Hashmi was convicted according to article 63(1)(G) and in PM’s case there was nothing about indictment neither any proof regarding ridicule came to surface. He said the judges even didn’t question the premier about the ‘ridicule’ during the proceedings.
Meanwhile, the decision of Speaker National Assembly was challenged in Sindh High Court on Saturday.