ISLAMABAD: After Babar Awan’s lawyer’s license was suspended, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has appointed senior party leader, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan as the new counsel, a the Presidency confirmed on Tuesday.
According to the statement released on Tuesday, Acting President Nayyar Hussain Bukhari appointed Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, in place of Dr Zaheer-ud-Din Babar Awan, as counsel to argue and address the Supreme Court in a reference of re-visit the trial of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
The President had filed a reference in the Supreme Court under Article 186 of the constitution over the death sentence awarded to party stalwart Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The previous counsel, Awan, had completed his arguments in the case and raised five questions for the apex court. When the hearing resumes next, the amicus curiae would start their arguments.
To resume hearing on the reference, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry constituted an eleven-member bench, headed by himself, and comprising Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, Justice Nasirul Mulk, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Tariq Parvez, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmani and Justice Amir Hani Muslim.
The court had appointed 10 amicus curiae on April 21, including Ali Ahmed Kurd, Tariq Mehmood, Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, Khalid Anwar, Makhdoom Ali Khan, SM Zafar, Aitzaz Ahsan, Zahoorul Haq and Abdul Latif Afridi.
Khalid Anwar, however, expressed his inability to assist the court and Qazi Muhammad Ashraf was appointed in his place.
The court had put off the hearing of the case after some judges on the bench had retired in June last year. The hearing resumed in December but after Awan’s license suspension following a contempt of court case, the case was adjourned for an indefinite period.
At some point, the CJ had also remarked that the apex court might refer the case to a trial court.
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