Two judgments delivered by the Indian Supreme Court with regard to the disqualification of legislators were cited by the Pakistan apex court in its verdict, which cost former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani his chair.
The three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, on Tuesday disqualified Gilani as a member of Parliament — basing its decision on eight verdicts, including two from India’s apex court.
The apex court of Pakistan disqualified Gilani because he had been held guilty of contempt of court on April 26, and was sentenced to token imprisonment till “the rising of the court”.
As its reason for disqualifying Gilani, the Supreme Court said that since no appeal was filed against its verdict on contempt of court, “the conviction has attained finality. Therefore, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has become disqualified from being a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)… He has also ceased to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan”.
On May 25, the Speaker had ruled that there was no need for Gilani to resign due to his conviction in the case.
“This court, in exercising its power of judicial review, is not debarred from inquiring into the ruling given by the Speaker of the national assembly,” Chief Justice Chaudhry stated.
He referred to an Indian Supreme Court’s judgment in 2007, which disqualified 13 BSP MLAs in the UP assembly. The court had, in the process, overturned the state assembly Speaker’s ruling.
The second Indian case pertained to two MLAs of the Haryana assembly, who had won the elections as sole representatives of their parties, but later joined the Congress. In this case, the Supreme Court had upheld the Speaker’s ruling.