Constitutional experts believe PM stands disqualified after conviction | Pakistan Today

Constitutional experts believe PM stands disqualified after conviction

Majority of noted constitutional experts on Thursday said after the conviction in a contempt of court case, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani automatically stood disqualified, therefore he should immediately resign from his office.
Talking to Pakistan Today, former law minister and noted lawyer SM Zafar said since the Supreme Court had convicted Gilani for ridiculing the judiciary, he automatically stood disqualified. He said although the court did not give its ruling under Article 63 (1) (g) of the constitution, “indirectly this article relates with the ruling, thus the prime minister has lost his office and stands disqualified”.
He said under the ruling, Gilani was no more the prime minister constitutionally as well as morally, as disqualification had attached with him. He however said the primer had some time until the National Speaker sent his matter of disqualification to the Election Commission of Pakistan.
He said now it depended on the premier whether he got benefit of this time or resigns to avert further disgrace. He said it was better for the premier to resign by moral courage. He said there was no justification that a convicted premier was chief executive of a country having nuclear capability. Senior lawyer Akram Sheikh said if the premier goes to any country, that country would not make any accord with him, by keeping in view his position in his own country. He said Gilani should neither cause a loss to the country nor himself and should resign.
Commenting on the ruling, former Supreme Court Bar Association’s (SCBA) president Asma Jahangir said this ruling neither raised the prestige of the court nor the parliament, instead created an ambiguity in the country. She said this ruling had created an atmosphere of a long legal battle. She said the premier could not automatically stand disqualified. She said proper procedure would have to be adopted for his disqualification, which could take a long time. She said an appeal could also be filed against the conviction.
According to noted constitutional expert Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, the premier stood disqualified after the conviction. He said the premier should immediately resign without waiting for proper procedure of disqualification. When contacted Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmed, he said just after the conviction, the premier automatically stood disqualified. He said appeal could be filed in this case. He said the bench which convicted the premier could not hear the appeal. He said for adjudication of appeal, another appellate bench would have to be constituted. According to SCBA former president Tariq Mehmood, after the conviction, the PM stood disqualified and he would have to quit.
According to noted lawyer Ikram Chaudhry, the Supreme Court had finally been left with no option but to convict the Primer on the contempt charge after he had plainly told it once again that he would not obey even the specific direction to write letter to Switzerland for reopening money laundering cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. He also said that after the conviction, Gilani stood disqualified and he should quit in the best interest of the country.

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