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Govt sticks to its point on Gilani's conviction

28 April, 2012

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ISLAMABAD: Law and Justice Minister Farooq H Naek said on Saturday the prime minister could not be disqualified under Article 63(1)(g) and that Yousaf Raza Gilani and his cabinet were functioning constitutionally.

The SC, in its verdict in the contempt of court case, has not given any specific directive for the disqualification of the prime minister, Naek told a press conference along with Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira.

The law minister said the letter written by the SC assistant registrar to the National Assembly speaker, Cabinet Division secretary and chief election commissioner was misuse of his power, adding that the Supreme Court must hold an inquiry into it.

"The letter called for further necessary action by the speaker, cabinet secretary and the chief election commissioner, although the court's short order contained no directions," Naek said. He said that the registrar was dictating terms for compliance and arrogating powers, which he did not have. He said it was prerogative of the National Assembly speaker and Senate chairman to send references to the Election Commission for disqualification of parliamentarians. Naek said that an appeal would be filed in the contempt case once the SC released its detailed verdict.

"The appeal will be continuation of the proceedings. An appeal against the Supreme Court's verdict can not be filed until a detailed judgement is issued," the minister said. Criticising the SC's decision, Naek said the government was ready to comply if the court ordered disqualification of the prime minister.

The law minister also criticised the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), accusing the party of twisting the facts of the case.

Information Minister Kaira said that Prime Minister Gilani had always respected courts and would continue to do so as per the party's tradition. He said the Pakistan People's Party had always contested its cases in courts and never tried to break the chain of justice. Kaira criticised PML-N President Nawaz Sharif for trying to influence the detailed judgement of the court in the contempt of court case. He said that the PML-N had attacked the Supreme Court 15 years ago and was now again trying to attack it by creating a hype.

End.

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