Charges Framed against PM Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani in Contempt of Court in NRO Case

ISLAMABAD: A seven-member of the Supreme Court (SC) framed charges of contempt against Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani in National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) Implementation case.

The SC bench headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk read out the 2-page charge sheet signed by all bench judges and indicted him of the contempt with PM Gilani standing in the dock.

“Have you read the charges framed against you?” asked the bench.

“Yes, I have read. I understood,” he replied adding after the consultation with his counsel, “I will plead innocence.”

The court exempted the PM Gilani from appearing in person in next hearing.

The 2-page charge sheet states that the PM Gilani violated Article 204 of the Constitution by not writing a letter to the Swiss authorities in accordance with the court orders. It said he also violated para- 178 of the court’s verdict in the NRO implementation case.

The indictment states the PM Gilani is bound by law to write the letter ordered by the court; but, he balked at the implementation.

Later on, the PM Gilani’s counsel Aitezaz Ahsan pleaded the court he will go to London on February 18 and will return on 21. Aitezaz said he is busy on Feb. 16 and 17, as his papers will be scrutinized in Lahore. On this, he was advised by the court to give weight to the case in question.

Granting his plea, the court said the evidences will be recorded on February 27, which the apex court will assay on the following day (Feb.28), adding the documents of the prosecution will be submitted on February 22.

Attorney General, who assisted the court, has been directed file documents consisting the list of all witnesses and affidavits by 16 February.

Attorney General has been advised to plead the case Prosecutor under Order-27, Rule-7.

It should be mentioned here on Friday, the SC dismissed the intra-court appeal filed by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani against indictment order, saying the indictment ruling by seven-member bench is in accordance with law.

An eight-strong bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry heard the appeal against the February 2 order; however, concluding the proceedings, the court upheld the previous ruling by 7-member bench, saying there is no need for the apex court to interfere with the proceedings of the seven-strong bench.

Earlier, the court was prayed to retract the show-cause notice issued to the PM Gilani. The court held that the cases abolished abroad, will be revived and a letter was sought from the government of Pakistan to this effect, adding the government never on any stage opposed this.

The order said the PM Gilani was called upon to implement this order in the capacity of chief executive of the country; but, he failed to perform his duty in this regard.

The five-member bench, consequently, kick-started the judicial proceedings; but, the government continued its policy of negligence and avoidance to implement the order. Viewing this government attitude, the court gave six –option ruling on January 10.

Even now, there was no headway in this connection; then, a seven-strong bench issued contempt of court notice to the PM Gilani on January 16; but, the court did not receive any written rejoinder from him to this date.

The PM’s counsel Aitezza Ahsan, a renowned lawyer told the court, “The PM Gilani was not directed in the show-cause notice to give a written order.”

The apex court, after hearing the PM’s counsel for two consecutive days, decided today (Friday) to indict him (PM Gilani) on next hearing scheduled on February 13 (today) before the seven-judge bench.

The next hearing will be held on February 22 and then on Feb. 28

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