Minutes before his election as the new prime minster, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf received a strong message from the country’s highest court.
According to the Supreme Court’s cause list issued on Friday for next week, a three judge bench, led by Justice Nasirul Mulk, will resume hearing the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) implementation case on Wednesday, June 27 – the same case that led to the disqualification of Yousaf Raza Gilani as the premier.
During the last two hearings of the NRO case on May 3 and April 16, the bench abstained from passing any order in the case of appointments of several NRO beneficiaries to public offices.
A judicial notice is expected to be served upon the new premier on June 27 to implement the directives contained in paragraphs 177 and 178 of the NRO judgment, regarding writing a letter to Swiss authorities.
Gilani was charged with contempt by the Supreme Court for not writing a letter to Swiss authorities asking them to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. A seven judge bench of the apex court, which was also headed by Justice Mulk, awarded Gilani a 37-second punishment on April 26. The court had made it clear to Gilani that the NRO verdict penned down by the full court on Dec 16, 2009, had given categorical directions in paragraphs 177 and 178 regarding writing a letter to Swiss authorities.
During the previous hearing of the NRO implementation case, the NAB chairman’s counsel, Shaiq Usmani, submitted three inquiry reports of NRO beneficiaries allegedly appointed by Gilani. The first report was on Adnan Khawaja, who was appointed the Navtec chairman and then OGDCL chairman allegedly on Gilani’s orders.
The second inquiry report was on Ahmed Riaz Sheikh, who was appointed the Federal Investigation Agency’s additional director-general, while the third report was on former attorney general Malik Qayyum. The court, however, rejected the reports and ordered a complete record along with the summaries and dates of appointments.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2012.
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