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Institutions spat looms as Pak SC admits petitions against Speaker's decision favouring Gilani

June 2, 2012 - Islamabad

Another standoff between the government and judiciary looms after the Pakistan Supreme Court admitted the petitions against the ruling of the National Assembly Speaker over the disqualification of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, which are scheduled for hearing on June 6.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on May 28 had filed the petitions when NA Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza had refrained from disqualifying Gilani who was convicted in a contempt of court case, reports The Dawn.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry will hear the petitions.

The petition by the PML-N was filed by Sialkot MNA Khwaja Mohammad Asif, arguing that Gilani stands disqualified in light of the apex court's verdict and that he should be barred from performing further duties as the prime minister.

PTI's petition, filed by party chairman Imran Khan, similarly has asked the apex court to restrain Gilani from further acting as the prime minister, and to declare Dr Mirza's ruling unlawful.

Moreover, Khan's petition also requests the court to instruct the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to decide on Gilani's eligibility as the premier.

On April 26, PM Gilani was convicted for contempt of court for not writing a letter to the Swiss authorities asking to reopen money-laundering cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

The opposition parties' filing of the petitions come after the Gilani government announced that it would not file an appeal before the apex court against the prime minister's conviction and 37-second sentence by a seven-judge bench on contempt charges.


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