Former Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Aitzaz Ahsan said the punishment meted out to Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani in contempt of court case, is unconstitutional. Talking to media here, the PM Gilani’s counsel said the short order cannot be delivered in criminal cases. Ahsan said the premier could not have been sentenced in the absence of a detailed verdict. He said short orders were not issued in criminal cases and that the prime minister’s sentencing was against the law. Ahsan said an appeal would be filed challenging the Supreme Court’s verdict against the premier. He further said that objections to the judgment were based on constitutional and legal grounds. Saying “we do not accept the verdict” of April 26, the counsel reiterated that President Asif Ali Zardari enjoyed immunity from prosecution in Pakistan and abroad. Ahsan moreover said that the prime minister was sentenced in violation of Article 10-A of the Constitution. The counsel urged that it was the duty of all Pakistani citizens to abide by the laws and the Constitution of the country. “The prime minister has a number of options to choose from, including one of filing an appeal challenging the verdict,” Ahsan said. Regarding the appeal, the counsel said that the judges who convicted the prime minister should not hear it. Moreover, on the role of Speaker National Assembly in the process of a possible disqualification of the premier, Ahsan said the speaker was given the authority by the Constitution and not the Supreme Court. He said it was up to the speaker’s discretion whether or not to send a reference in this case.