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Pak PM Gilani can appeal to apex court within 30 days

Political analysts say the clash of institutions could cost Pakistan’s fragile democracy dearly.

world Updated: Jun 19, 2012 23:37 IST

Pakistan Prime Minister (PM) Yousuf Raza Gilani can file an appeal against the Supreme Court (SC) judgment disqualifying him, within 30 days. Legal experts said he has the right to appeal for a review.

Gilani was disqualified from his post as PM on Tuesday afternoon by the SC.

“At this stage, the appeal means to review the decision to examine any error floating in the law,” said constitutional expert Akram Shaikh.

After April 26, when the court had given its first judgment in the case, the PM had a right to file an appeal. But he did not do this, said lawyers.

“He has lost any right to recourse now,” said lawyer Salman Raja. Raja also said that the matter cannot be taken up in parliament as “parliament makes the laws while the judiciary interprets the law.”

Meanwhile, a meeting of the senior leadership of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party started almost immediately at the President’s house on Tuesday. President Asif Ali Zardari chaired the meeting, which was attended by Gilani and party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. The party accepted the court’s ruling disqualifying Gilani.

The central leadership decided to convene separate meetings of the PPP's parliamentary party and the members of the ruling coalition to choose a leader to replace Gilani, the sources said.

Federal ministers Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Makhdoom Shahabuddin and Khursheed Shah are among those being considered for the post of premier, the sources added.

A session of the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament is likely to be convened on Wednesday for the formal election of the new premier.

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 by anyone but the parliament and that he was not answerable to any court.

The attorney general also 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.

First Published: Jun 19, 2012 23:35 IST