rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Contempt of court: Demand for Gilani's resignation grows

Contempt of court: Demand for Gilani's resignation grows

Last updated on: April 26, 2012 15:18 IST

Contempt of court: Demand for Gilani's resignation grows

     Next

Next
Tahir Ali

As the Pakistan People's Party plans to file a review petition against the Supreme Court verdict on Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, experts say that the premier should step down on moral grounds before the country plunges into another political crisis. Tahir Ali reports

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was found guilty on Thursday for contempt of court and was given a symbolic sentence of a 30 seconds detention in the courtroom. However, the Supreme Court decision has created a political turmoil in the country.

Gilani was convicted for not accepting the court's verdict and ridiculing it. He was charged with contempt by the apex court in February for refusing to follow it orders to write to Swiss authorities to ask them to reopen corruption cases against Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.

The President along with his wife and former Pakistan PM Benazir Bhutto were suspected of having used Swiss bank accounts to launder more than $10 million allegedly paid in bribes by companies seeking customs inspections contracts in the 1990s. The PM had appeared twice before in the court and had maintained his innocence throughout, saying he had done nothing against the rules of business.

Click NEXT to read further...


Image: Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani waves after arriving at the Supreme Court in Islamabad
Photographs: Reuters

     Next

Contempt of court: Demand for Gilani's resignation grows

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Aitzaz Ahsan, his council, meanwhile, had argued that the bench was not eligible to hear the case as it had sent the notice to Gilani.

The SC verdict says the accused Gilani is found guilty of and convicted for contempt of court, under Article 204 (2) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

"After our satisfaction that the contempt committed by him is substantially detrimental to the administration of justice and tends to bring this court and the judiciary of this country into ridicule. The order said that as regards the sentence to be passed against the convict, we note that the findings and the conviction for contempt of court recorded above are likely to entail some serious consequences in terms of Article 63 (1) (g) of the Constitution which may be treated as mitigating factors towards the sentence to be passed against him. He is, therefore, punished under Article 5 of the contempt of court ordinance with imprisonment till the rising of the court today," it said.

The ruling Pakistan People's Party and its coalition partners have termed the decision as biased and say that injustice has done to the prime minister. "We have sought justice; the decision is inappropriate," said Gilani after the decision was announced.

Firdus Ashiq Awan, a PPP leader said, "Gilani has sacrificed himself for the sake of democracy; the PPP has always been victimised by courts and it is the continuity of that polices. We pay tribute to Gilani. We are going to file a review petition and the decision will be overturned."


Image: The PPP plans to file a review plea against the SC verdict on Gilani in the contempt case
Photographs: Reuters

Prev     Next

Contempt of court: Demand for Gilani's resignation grows

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

After the conviction, say some experts, the PM should resign on ethical grounds. If he does not resign it will further weaken the political stature of the country, many in Pakistan say.

According to analyst Dr Rasool Bakhs Rais, the decision can put Pakistan in one of its worst political crises. "The masses will be divided in two -- pro-judiciary and pro-government. The masses will go after judiciary and they will expect the court to decide all other pending cases. If the courts fail to deliver justice in all case, the masses will turn their back on the judiciary, which will be alarming."

The political situation will remain unclear until Gilani resigns or the decision is overturned after filing an appeal in the court. Najam Sethi, who is a senior Pakistani analyst, said, "There will be a political turmoil in the country. The PPP should announce a new PM."

Legal expert Babar Sattar said, "The process of removing the PM through the Election Commission could be a lengthy one. Gilani should resign on ethical grounds."


Image: Police in riot gear stand guard outside the Pakistan Supreme Court
Photographs: Reuters

Prev     Next

TOP photo features of the week

Prev     More

Click on MORE to see another set of PHOTO features...



Tags: PHOTO , MORE , TOP

Prev     More