Lahore University of Management Sciences

Talk on the President's Immunity/Article 248

February 20, 2012

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Time: 8:00 p.m.

Venue: Faculty Lounge, LUMS

Organisers: Law and Politics Society in collaboration with RC M64

Executive Summary:

The article 248 of the constitution is under severe debate nowadays. According to this article, The President, a Governor, the Prime Minister, a Federal Minister, a Minister of State, the Chief Minister and a Provincial Minister shall not be answerable to any court for the exercise of powers and performance of functions of their respective offices or for any act done or purported to be done in the exercise of those powers and performance of those functions.  
Earlier in 2009 the Supreme Court ordered the government to write a letter to Swiss authorities for reopening the money laundering case against President AsifAli Zardari. The government did not act upon the notice and hence, contempt of court was filed against the Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. In his response, the PM argued:
“It is my conviction that he has complete immunity inside and outside the country. In the Constitution, there is complete immunity for the President. With respect to this view, I am constrained to bring out the following points of constitutional jurisprudence and international law that ought in my submission to govern the present situation.”
Here, the article 248 and the Prime Minister’s remarks need elaboration, which lays ground for the following questions:
  • Is President really immune to the orders of the Supreme Court?
  • What is the essence of the article 248 and when was it implemented?
  • Should this article be a part of the constitution at all? 
To get an expert opinion on the subject matter, LUMS Law and Politics Society in collaboration with Residential College M64 invites senior analysts to come and talk to the students about the proceeding of the case and share their opinion on the topic.

Guest Speakers:

Dr. Ali Qazilbash
Justice Fazal Kareem

Goals of the Event:  

To create awareness about article 248.
To provide students a chance to hear expert opinion and discussion on the matter from specialists.
To provide students a chance to ask questions on the issue from specialists.