Legal experts divided over immunity issue | Pakistan Today

Legal experts divided over immunity issue

Following SC’s Thursday hearing in contempt of court charges against the PM, legal experts were left divided over whether the president enjoyed immunity under Article 248 or was he accountable for unconstitutional acts.
Barrister Farogh Naseem said if some acts were considered unconstitutional under the decisions of supreme and high courts, then no one could get immunity, while president’s case also come under a similar phenomenon.
He said the nature of amendment in National Reconciliation Ordinance was criminal.
On the other hand, former SCBA president Ali Ahmed Kurd said both the president and the prime minister enjoyed immunity per the constitution as well as under the international laws.
Renowned lawyer Athar Minullah said the constitution was supreme in the country and no society could survive in the world that did not respect its courts. “My viewpoint is clear that the verdict of the court has come. Writing letter to Swiss authorities has nothing to do with the immunity to the president. The attorney general repeated this many times that Zardari had legal immunity until the time he is the president,” he said.
Barrister Farooq Nasim said there was no precedent in the past of a president having immunity in a criminal case. “The court gets guidance form the previous cases. In the modern judicial system, no one has immunity,” he added. Justice (r) Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui said the PM did not enjoy immunity under the constitution of Pakistan.
He said the PM had been exempted only from appearing in person in the court. Justice (r) Tariq Mehmood said it was not an appropriate attitude to pressure the courts. Representatives of various bar associations said they would not allow any compromise on the independence of the judiciary.



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