ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday declared Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani ineligible to hold office, Express News reported. The court said that he had been ineligible since April 26.
He has been declared ineligible to be prime minister ever since the verdict in the contempt case had been announced.
Gilani will not be a member of parliament following the verdict.
The court has also ordered President Asif Ali Zardari to select a new prime minister. The verdict also states that the Election Commission of Pakistan (EC) should issue a notification regarding Gilani’s ineligibility.
Security in the Red Zone has been put on high-alert.
Earlier, concluding his arguments in the Speaker’s ruling case, Attorney General Irfan Qadir said that the immunity provided to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani cannot be taken away anyone but the Parliament and that he was not answerable to any court.
Qadir was told to wrap up his arguments by 11am today.
Speaking before a three-member bench of the Supreme Court hearing the petitions filed against the speaker’s ruling in the prime minister contempt case. AG Qadir said that the petitions were being politicised and that the Supreme Court’s autonomy will be questioned if it hears such petitions.
The judicial bench observed that being an attorney general, Qadir should assist the court proceedings, rather than defending a party.
The attorney general also said that the contempt of court law was made in the colonial era when the sub-continent was operating under the British rule.
The Supreme Court is likely to announce its verdict by 3pm, today.
Earlier, Qadir had said that the judges who announced the verdict of the contempt case against Gilani were “more inclined towards disqualifying him” than deciding whether it was a contempt case or not.
He had said the parliament has the right to reject court’s decision if it decides against the Speaker’s ruling.
The attorney general had also presented a resolution of the parliament before the bench, which stated that the parliament had confidence in the speaker, Dr Fehmida Mirza’s decision.
Justice Khilji Arif Hussain had observed that the job of the court was to interpret law and that it will continue doing so “no matter what anyone thinks.”
The chief justice had said that the court respected the parliament and that they should do their job while the court does its own.
AG Qadir had said that if the court takes a decision against the Speaker’s ruling, then it will create a conflict between institutions. Justice Chaudhry replied saying that there is no conflict between institutions.
The attorney general had read out an article written by a judge of the Indian Supreme Court that stated that people are free to criticise the judges and discuss about them. Justice Arif had interrupted him and had said that he should discuss the case than wasting the court’s time.
The petitions, including those filed by Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), had challenged the speaker’s ruling and demanded prime minister’s disqualification after he was convicted of contempt by the apex court.