Islamabad: Citing precedents set by apex courts in countries like India, Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday filed an appeal in the Supreme Court seeking suspension of its order summoning him for framing of contempt charges over his failure to reopen graft cases against the President.
The 200-page intra-court appeal, filed by Gilani's lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan, asked the apex court to suspend its decision summoning the Premier on February 13. Ahsan told reporters outside the court that he had based the appeal on precedents set by apex courts in India, Australia, Britain, France and the US.
In India, there is a provision of filing a review petition against the apex court's order. "I have filed an appeal today. I have quoted more than 50 national and international cases and given specific reasons against the Supreme Court's order," Ahsan said. He called for an early hearing of the appeal.
"It depends on the court to stay the proceedings and decide against summoning the Prime Minister on February 13," he said.
The appeal asked the court to postpone the indictment, saying the ruling was issued without Gilani being given an opportunity to defend himself directly. On February 2, a seven-judge bench of the apex court had summoned Gilani to appear on February 13 to be indicted for contempt over his failure to act on its order to pursue corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. It added to the tensions between the government and the judiciary.
If Gilani is convicted of contempt, he could be jailed for up to six months and disqualified from holding public office for five years.