ISLAMABAD: The larger bench of the Supreme Court hearing the case regarding the implementation of the NRO judgment on Thursday summoned former secretary law Aqil Mirza, National Accountability Bureau chief Naveed Ahsan and the interior secretary in court today (Friday).
The five-member bench led by Justice Nasirul Mulk comprises Justices Raja Fayyaz Ahmed, Jawwad S.Khawaja, Rahmat Hussain Jafferi and Tariq Pervez. The bench has asked Ahsan to tell the court about the developments so far regarding the implementation of the apex court’s December 16, 2009 National Reconciliation Ordinance judgement. In the NRO judgement, the court held the ordinance as illegal and has since been pushing for the reopening of all cases closed by NAB.
These cases include the ones instituted in Swiss courts against President Asif Zardari. The court had initially summoned Mirza and the NAB chairman on May 6, after the government submitted its statement stating that the Swiss cases against President Zardari were a closed chapter and therefore there was no need of any communication with Swiss authorities.
However, the very next day, Mirza tendered his resignation, citing health issues. The resignation sparked off speculation that Mirza had resigned due to conflicts with Law Minister Dr Babar Awan. In Thursday’s hearing, accordingly, Attorney General of Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq told the bench that Mirza would not appear in court since he had resigned. But the court did not buy the argument. Upon Justice Mulk’s asking, the AG told the court that Mirza’s resignation had not been accepted and would take another three or four days to process.
“Because the resignation has not been accepted till now, therefore [Mirza] is legally and constitutionally duty bound to appear before the bench in this case on the court orders,” promptly retorted Justice Mulk. The bench also expressed its dissatisfaction over the AG’s statement and summoned the law secretary, interior secretary and NAB chairman on Friday and adjourned the hearing. Meanwhile, in a surprise development confirmed by a senior official, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has accepted Mirza’s resignation and the Establishment Division has already issued the appropriate notification.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 14th, 2010