No contempt proceedings if president has immunity: Pakistani court

February 1st, 2012 - 3:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, Feb 1 (IANS) There is no need for contempt proceedings if the president’s immunity is proved, Pakistan’s Supreme Court said Wednesday while hearing a contempt of court case against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Gilani had appeared before the Supreme Court Jan 19 in the contempt case for not acting against President Asif Ali Zardari for corruption and defended his move, saying that the constitution provided immunity to the president.

A seven-member bench headed by Justice Nasir ul Mulk Wednesday began hearing the contempt of court case against Gilani, reported Geo News.

Justice Nasir remarked that there is no need for contempt proceedings if the immunity is proved.

The prime minister’s counsel, Aitzaz Ahsan, said the president has immunity both within and outside the country.

In his submission before the Supreme Court last month, Gilani said that “it will not give a good message to proceed against a president who is elected by a two-thirds majority”.

“I have discussed this with my friends and experts, and they all agree that he has got complete immunity,” he said.

The court had issued Gilani a contempt notice Jan 16.

The apex court had warned the government of action if its ruling on the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), granting immunity to politicians and bureaucrats in corruption cases, was not implemented by Jan 10, 2012.

The court had also sought reopening of cases closed under the NRO, struck down as void in 2009. It had ordered the government to write a letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen cases against the president.

Zardari, accused of graft, had been granted amnesty under the NRO which was issued in 2007 by then president Pervez Musharraf to facilitate the return of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and her husband Zardari.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in South Asia |