The Supreme Court of Pakistan on 15 January 2013 ordered the authorities to arrest Raja Pervez Ashraf, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, within 24 hours. The orders of the Court came following the allegations in connection with a corruption case linked to power projects, done during his office of the Water and Power Minister. The court also ordered arrest of 16 more including the former finance minister and former finance secretary of Pakistan.
The orders of arrest was pronounced by the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry who described that the Prime Minister has violated the principle of transparency during his tenure of the minister for water and power and following the same his involvement in the making financial benefits by being indulged in the corrupt practices could not be overruled.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan’s decision of arrest was followed by its orders of arresting the people involved regardless of the ranks they hold and in case any of the accused leaves the country the Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) would be held responsible along with the investigating team.
The order of the Supreme Court came two months before the National Elections are scheduled. These arrests would bring Pakistan into a crucial political crisis. The Supreme Court, before this ordered Raja Pervez Ashraf to appear for a contempt hearing in August 2012 when he failed to write the Swiss Authorities for reopening of the corruption charges against Asif Ali Zardari, the President of Pakistan.
Before this the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Yusuf Raza Gilani was also debarred from the office by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on 12 June 2012 after he was convicted for violating the article 63(1) (g) (contempt of court) of the constitution of Pakistan on 26 April 2012 by the Supreme Court.