Pak court dismisses Gilani's petition challenging Senate chairman election

Sajjad Hussain
·2-min read

Islamabad, Mar 24 (PTI) A Pakistani court on Wednesday dismissed former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s petition challenging the results of the Senate chairman election which he lost in a keenly-fought contest.

Gilani filed the petition on Monday in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) which was accepted for hearing by Chief Justice Athar Minallah.

During the hearing on Wednesday, Chief Justice Minallah noted that the proceedings of the upper house of parliament were 'immune from the interference' of the high court.

The 'language used by the framers of the Constitution is unambiguous and effective in order to prevent a court from encroaching upon the independence of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament),” Chief Justice Minallah wrote in his judgment.

He also said that the entire process of the Senate chairman election was completely wholly out of the high court's jurisdiction.

He declared Gilani's petition as 'not maintainable' and said that the petitioner had the option of removing Sadiq Sanjrani from the office of Senate chairman through a majority resolution in the upper house of parliament.

Sanjrani, 42, the incumbent Senate chairman who was backed by Prime Minister Imran Khan's ruling alliance, defeated 68-year-old Gilani, who was joint candidate of the Pakistan Democratic Movement's (PDM) - an alliance of all main opposition parties.

Sanjrani polled 48 votes while Gilani got 42 in the 99-member Senate, dealing a blow to the joint Opposition despite having a majority in the Upper House. A total of 98 senators voted in the election.

Eight votes were rejected out of whom seven were stamped on the name of Gilani. The Opposition has 52 members in the upper house while the ruling coalition has 47 senators.

Gilani had urged the court to declare the results of the election of the Senate chairman held on March 12 as 'null and void' along with the declaration of victory of Sanjrani as chairman.

Gilani served as prime minister from 2008 until his disqualification and ouster by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2012. PTI SH ZH ZH