The political crisis gripping the country can take a decisive turn today (Monday) when the government appears before the Supreme Court, which is ordering it to reopen a probe against the president.
The seven-member larger bench of the Supreme Court will resume the hearing of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) implementation case today. Attorney General of Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq will present the government’s viewpoint on the six options given by the Supreme Court. The Law Secretary and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman will also appear before the court.
The Supreme Court has been pressing for investigations into allegations of corruption against President Asif Ali Zardari, dating back to before his time in office. He and other leading politicians had been protected by a politically inspired amnesty agreed to in 2008 that the court struck down in 2009, leaving him vulnerable.
The government has so far refused to comply, arguing the president has immunity. Last week, the court threatened to dismiss Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani if they continue to ignore its orders.
It ordered government representatives to appear in court on Monday to explain what they planned to do. A senior member of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said this week the government would try to get more time from the court, but it’s unclear whether the bench is in a patient mood.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has also constituted an 11-member larger bench to resume hearing from Tuesday of a presidential reference, regarding revisiting of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s murder case. agencies.
ISLAMABAD: A special Supreme Court bench will be examining the six options related to non-implementation on National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) verdict case from Monday (today).
The Chief Justice has constituted a 7-member special bench comprising Justice Nasir-ul-Mulik, Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Muhammad Ather Saeed to hear the case.
The Attorney General for Pakistan, the Federal Law Secretary, the Chairman NAB and the Prosecutor-General Accountability will appear before the special bench in person. Earlier, a five-member SC bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa observed that action may be taken against the President for violating the Constitution and forwarded the six options in the case to Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, for taking a final decision on Jan 16 (today).
The Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa-led bench stated that prima facie the Prime Minister "is not an honest man" and that "he has violated his oath," giving six options to government to make things crystal clear. Otherwise, contempt proceedings against the Prime Minister and the federal law secretary will be initiated, according to 5-member SC bench.
The six options are: the prime minister is held in violation of his oath of office, proceedings may be initiated against the Chief Executive of the Federation i.e. the Prime Minister, the Federal Minister for Law, Justice and Human Rights Division and the Federal Secretary Law, Justice and Human Rights Division for committing contempt of the SC; the bench may appoint a Commission to execute the relevant parts of the judgment passed and directions issued in the case of Dr Mobashir Hassan versus Federation of Pakistan; afford an opportunity of hearing to the affected person/persons; appropriate recommendations or directions may be made or issued by the bench against the NAB chairman; and the bench may exercise judicial restraint and leave the matter to the better judgment of the people of the country or their representatives in the Parliament to appropriately deal with the "delinquent".
Government faces critical day in court today. Reviewed by Sarah Peracha on 11:32:00 PM Rating: