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SC seeks counsels assistance to meet question of law over ZABs trial.

By ISLAMABAD, May 12, 2011 (Balochistan Times): The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed counsel for referring authority to assist it over a question of law under which it could derive powers under advisory jurisdiction, thus enabling it to give an opinion on Zulfikar Ali Bhuttos trial in accordance with Article 186. An eleven-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry resumed proceedings on a Presidential Reference sent to it under Article 186 of the Constitution by the President seeking its opinion over re-opening of Zulfikar Ali Bhuttos trial case under its advisory jurisdiction. During course of proceeding, the Chief Justice told Dr Babar Awan, counsel for referring authority, that they were agreed in principles over the cited cases of presidential reference of 2007 in Hisba Act and Sindh High Court Bar Associations case, but the jurisdiction they exercised there was quite different from the instant issue. He said that they were asked to give their opinion on a concluded case and they wanted to get through it under the specific constitutional provisions. There is hierarchy and process under which we have to proceed further, he added. The Chief Justice also advised him to find out the record of those five cases registered against late ZAB in 1978 as they might be helpful in deciding the case. Justice Muhammad Sair Ali advised him that it would be a critical historic turn if he could find record of such documents. Dr Babar told that they could not find record of such documents. He said neither the parliament nor anybody else could give its verdict over the issue except the judiciary which had already given verdicts. To a question of Justice Nasir ul Mulk, he replied that they did not want setting aside of the judicial verdicts over the issue and added that the President had already mentioned in the Reference that they did not want vengeance against anyone. Justice Javed Iqbal observed that they were not asking for a new verdict rather seeking their opinion. The Chief Justice remarked that every person wanted a rule of Constitution in the country and those who were tried during martial law regimes had also constitutional rights. Dr Babar replied Let there be hundreds of such cases, they would have not objection if taken up for hearing. The Chief Justice aptly remarked Let bring a law for those who were tried during 1978 martial law and in 2000-2007. The counsel contended that the Court could revisit the ZABs case under Article 4 which held that an individual should be treated in accordance with law, which was inalienable right of every individual. He questioned whether ZABs trial met such provision!

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:May 12, 2011
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