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Supreme Court seals fate of former AJK PM

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas was disqualified for contempt of court after the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) high court denied his bid to stay the ruling.

The AJK High Court barred prime minister Ilyas from holding any public office for two years on April 11, disqualifying him as a member of the AJK legislative assembly.

Ilyas, a member of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, recently attacked the local judiciary for meddling in the executive branch’s purview by issuing stay orders.

He had stated that a court injunction was the reason why a multimillion-dollar Saudi education project was not completed. Ilyas has previously spoken out against court decisions to reopen tobacco companies that had engaged in billions of rupees worth of tax fraud.

Later, Ilyas went to the AJK Supreme Court, where his appeal was heard by the entire bench, which was presided over by Chief Justice Raja Saeed Akram and included Justices Raza Ali Khan and Khawaja Muhammad Nasim.

The former premier requested a stay of the AJK High Court’s order in his miscellaneous plea to the court. The AJK Chief Justice observed throughout the hearing that the former prime minister had not shown regret for his comments. He merely stated that he apologizes for any instances of contempt of court.

He claimed that the lawmaker showed no respect for either the Prime Minister’s Office or the Parliament.

“The former prime minister says he will remove judges, but he can’t even expel a peon without following the official procedure,” the speaker observed.

Ilyas’ legal representative, Advocate Raziq Khan, claimed that his client had not been given the chance to elucidate his claims. However, CJ Akram noted that Ilyas had acknowledged making those words disparaging the judiciary.

“He acknowledged in court that he said such disparaging things. What choices does the court have if the defendant acknowledges using those comments and that they were disrespectful? He queried.

Later, the court turned down Ilyas’ request for a stay of the high court’s ruling. However, it will continue to hear his appeal against the decision to disqualify him.

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