SC judgement on NRO

11/12/2009

SC says NRO void to reopen all cases

Govt requests the apex court to nullify NRO
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) Thursday observed that it had no intention to derail the system, and stood by it in all respects, adding if NRO is declared null and void then all the cases will stand reopen automatically. This was observed by the 17-member larger bench of the SC during hearing of NRO-related cases here.
The court rejected the plea taken by Dr Farooq Ahsan, counsel for Qazi Hussain Ahmad, that President Asif Zardari be made respondent in this case, remarking that in his petition the President has not been made party while in other petitions President has been made party.
Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, counsel for Dr Mubashar Hassan; Ikram Chaudhry, counsel for Roedad Khan; and Dr Farooq Hassan, counsel for Qazi Hussain Ahmad completed their arguments.
Abdul Hafeez Pirzada argued NRO was legislation enacted against the Constitution. Therefore, it should not be considered law from the very first day as Constitution never permitted to enact such laws, he added. The cases against beneficiaries of NRO were still intact and if this Ordinance was declared unconstitutional then all the benefits sought under NRO would stand abolished.
Ikram Chaudhry said that NRO was not a national reconciliation but it was a deal struck between a dictator and a political party. It gave no relief to common man and it benefited only specific group, he contended. Justice Javed Iqbal observed it was not important during which regime the cases were instituted or quashed but the noteworthy point was this that the courts did not terminate these cases. Ikram Chaudhry said that the high commissioner who had obtained record in respect of Swiss accounts himself was beneficiary of NRO. Ikram Chaudhry said NAB had concealed the facts from the court. Correct record in respect of 8 persons has not been provided to the court. Rehman Malik had committed corruption of $1.5 million and not only Rs1.5 million. Several ministers benefited from NRO, he added. An individual promulgated the Ordinance for his personal gains, he noted.
Farooq Hassan said temptation had been given for corruption through NRO. This ordinance was against the law and now the entire nation was looking forward to the court, he added. Kamal Azfar, counsel for Federation, said that NRO be kept confined to petition filed by Dr Mubashar Hassan. Several new points have emerged in the case. Therefore all other petitioners be allowed to file petitions and fresh notice be issued to Federation, he submitted. Earlier, Federal government filed a statement with the apex court requesting therein to accept the challenges against the NRO and declare it as ultra vires of the Constitution. Barrister Kamal Azfar filed the statement on behalf of the federation before the larger bench. The hearing was adjourned till Monday.-Online
Source:The financial daily

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