Supreme Court rejects government's plea to review NRO verdict

Published: November 25, 2011
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Court delivers verdict as law secretary refuses to present documents to court.

Court delivers verdict as law secretary refuses to present documents to court.

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday rejected the federal government’s review petition of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), saying that the documents presented by the government’s counsel failed to make a case.

The Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry delivered the verdict that was heard by a 17-member bench. Justice Chaudhry said that the court had discarded the review petition because the documents presented “do not belong to the case”.

When the court ordered Law Secretary Masood Chishti to present additional documents, he refused to comply with the request. He said that Babar Awan (who was not present in court) would present the additional documents on Monday as he was occupied with family matters today.

The court, again, ordered Chishti to read additional documents, adding that the bench did not expect the case to be argued and that a simple reading would suffice. Chishti refused to comply with court orders, saying that he is not in a position to do. He said he realises he will face contempt of court charges and is prepared to go to jail as he is “not interested” in his job.

During Thursday’s hearing, Awan had presented documents to an increasingly frustrated bench. “In the past four days, the federation has failed to tell the court how it was affected by the verdict,” Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had said. Awan submitted additional documents to show how the verdict had hurt the federation, but the court made it clear that additional documents cannot be accepted in a review appeal case. The chief justice said that being an ‘experienced lawyer’ Awan should have known this.

Although the bench did not officially accept the documents, it agreed to finally hear his arguments today (Friday).

Awan was not present during the hearing.

The NRO was issued by former President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf in 2007. It granted amnesty to politicians, political workers and bureaucrats who were accused of corruption, embezzlement, money laundering, murder, and terrorism. It was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2009, throwing the country into a political crisis.

Aitzaz wants decision implented

Former Supreme Court Bar Association President Aitzaz Ahsan said that the court’s decisions should be accepted and implemented.

He was talking to the media outside the Supreme Court after the dismissal of the NRO review petition.

He said that although the federation had put up some delays, it would be unfair to say that the court’s decision remained unimplemented.

He added that President Asif Ali Zardari is exempt from any lawsuit under article 248 of the constitution and ruled out the chances of any rift between the federation and the judiciary over the verdict.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Babar Awan was occupied with Assembly matters.

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Reader Comments (44)

  • Fahad Raza
    Nov 25, 2011 - 11:30AM

    I would have like to see the looks on Babar Awan’s face…

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  • A J Khan
    Nov 25, 2011 - 11:38AM

    Justice served. Weldone.

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  • waqar
    Nov 25, 2011 - 11:43AM

    Brilliant from supreme court, Finally some respect for the law of this country, now for supreme court take the next steps.
    1) bring back the pakistani money from swiss banks to pakistan.
    2) hang those corrupt polticians who has taken the money on the first place.

    all the people of pakistan are behind supreme court. Well Done Sir.

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  • Sheikh Zeeshan Shakeel
    Nov 25, 2011 - 11:47AM

    @Fahad Raza:
    lolz :D

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  • Word Life
    Nov 25, 2011 - 11:49AM

    He said that Babar Awan (who was not present in court) would present the additional documents on Monday as he was occupied with Assembly matters today.

    In what capacity, exactly ?

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  • Mirza
    Nov 25, 2011 - 11:52AM

    Now that the gang of 17 is free, can they please look into the cases of Baloch that are disappearing and murdered by hundreds? Can the case of Asghar Khan ever come for hearing? Can the Abbottabad case ever be decided? And the list goes on and on.

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  • Rustam Salmeen
    Nov 25, 2011 - 11:54AM

    Bravo SC. Long Live Pakistan.

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  • Faizi
    Nov 25, 2011 - 12:03PM

    Should Solute to the tactics of a political lawyer.

    Know the strategy of the Babar Awan should be that he will use the electronic and print media against the judgment by using the sentence …. !!! ____ !!! ….
    The Supreme Court did not hear our version and give his order against the civil government and the talk shows, columnist’s write there opinions and political rallies will be on full move against and in the favored. Let us join our hands as proud to be a …PAKISTANI

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  • Ammad
    Nov 25, 2011 - 12:15PM

    What about issuer of NRO. Will we ever see a general being brought to justice by supreme court.

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  • kookoo
    Nov 25, 2011 - 12:24PM

    coool !

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  • Simon
    Nov 25, 2011 - 12:46PM

    What about the case of Asghar Khan, the missing Baloch, the 12 May Karachi and his mentor Nawaz Sharif, will they figure out now.

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  • Muhammad Asif
    Nov 25, 2011 - 12:50PM

    it is very unfortunate that only one institution is trying to work properly but it is been hurdled by different notorious political personality.

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  • Nov 25, 2011 - 1:06PM

    Like they say in Punjabi, ‘aithay rakh’!

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  • Maryam
    Nov 25, 2011 - 1:18PM

    I hope the honourable Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan can also be Tough & Strict on OBL Commission, Saleem Shehzad Case, Karachi PNS Mehran Base attacks and a lot more then showing toughness only to the People’s representatives.

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  • H.A. Khan
    Nov 25, 2011 - 1:23PM

    Justice has been done. Now the government has no excuse not to implement the decision of Supreme Court of Pakistan. The PM being head of the government is personally responsible.

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  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    Nov 25, 2011 - 1:30PM

    Great verdict by the Chief Justice but I am not sure that the Govt. will respect it and do accordingly unless CJ ensures that the verdict is implemented !!!

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  • Farid sarwar
    Nov 25, 2011 - 2:08PM

    Well done sir Chief Justice. u did a great job.Evil should be punished.Jusstice must seen to be done. Great ,,,,,!

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  • Karim
    Nov 25, 2011 - 2:10PM

    Who is Aitizaz Ahsan?. Who is Mr. Aitizaz…..is he the once upon a time lawyer’s leader.

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  • Nov 25, 2011 - 2:21PM

    i hope this will not contribute to the derailing of democratic system and hope the hawks in GHQ won’t even think of it, as that thinking should be coupled with the thinking of the consequences of such an action. However as PPP has in this tenure done their utmost to deal things as much in best way as possible, they should implement this decision to it letter and show the nation that it deserve to be called the “savors of nation” Recommend

  • Maqbool Ahmad
    Nov 25, 2011 - 2:35PM

    Its good for Pakistan that the Supreme Court is unveiling the true faces of our beloved leaders. Now its our turn to react and extend all support to the Supreme Court in this battle for implementation of rule of law. We need to change ourselves to bring a change over all.

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  • Aateeef
    Nov 25, 2011 - 3:29PM

    Now, lets see what will be the consequences of the verdict. Will it bring some good result?

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  • Omer
    Nov 25, 2011 - 4:28PM

    The President’s immunity is only for the period in which he is in office and not for the period before the presidency. Therefore, for acts done before being the president of the country he can be tried in the court.

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  • Imran Mohammad
    Nov 25, 2011 - 4:33PM

    This is simply the worst kind of contempt of court by PPP govt. Babar Awan delivers lectures on morality and Islamic ethics on government TV. Unbelievable !!!!!!

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  • ammar hussain qureshi
    Nov 25, 2011 - 4:49PM

    flaberghasting.

    i thnk being a loyal pakistani not only me but every one will welcome the verdict with gratitude.
    but this time it should not be put under the carpet and chould be implemented on priority basis. thx CJP.

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    Nov 25, 2011 - 5:57PM

    This is the only government in the world whose all organs and majority of people are against it, but still hanging on.

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  • Abdul Rauf khan
    Nov 25, 2011 - 6:16PM

    Good day in pakistan sureme Court…

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  • "I only want to be PM"
    Nov 25, 2011 - 6:42PM

    @Maryam:

    No justice for stronger.
    we donot know why but justice become silent and blind when it comes to non-civilian corruption.

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  • Nov 25, 2011 - 7:04PM

    Great+++++++++Recommend

  • haris
    Nov 25, 2011 - 7:12PM

    @Mirza:
    If everything must be dealt by Supreme Court then what the hell our thousands of politicians are supposedly doing? I find one thing everywhere, whoever falls as a victim of injustice he/she immediately appealed Supreme Court and Chief Justice and demand Justice from them.

    What about the Police, MNAs, MPAs, Prime Minister or President? No body even think about them because everyone knows, it is useless to demand justice from hypocrite and corrupt officials.

    Criticizing SC or CJP is OK and you are rightly to do so. but look at these politicians they are wasting time of the court and the state instead of fixing the problems and cleaning the mess which they are responsible for.

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  • explore
    Nov 25, 2011 - 7:18PM

    Well done Awan you succeed in showing different yard sticks the superior judiciary uses in doing justice

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  • naveed abbasi
    Nov 25, 2011 - 8:01PM

    good judment made by SC

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  • grinz09
    Nov 25, 2011 - 9:12PM

    It is believed that this Supreme Court is fair and independant. Well, there is another significant judgement on corruption. The present CJ who was member of a Supreme Court bench ruled in the past that NS & co were extremely corrupt and their sacking was justified. That Judgement, my friends, is still OPERATIVE! So CJ is humbly requested to take further action.

    Corruption by any politician is reprehensible.

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  • powerball
    Nov 25, 2011 - 11:31PM

    Finally justice! But the president still has immunity..just ridiculous

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  • Freeman
    Nov 25, 2011 - 11:48PM

    @Ammad: It governments responsibility to bring corrupt Generals to court. Supreme courts does not have any responsibility to bring them to the court. First government has to have action then supreme court can do something.

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  • Nov 26, 2011 - 12:12AM

    So the big fish is exempted. SC, you really want thumbs up for this verdict?

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  • Hamid
    Nov 26, 2011 - 12:31AM

    Awesome Decision.

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  • Muhammad Ali
    Nov 26, 2011 - 12:31AM

    Its a good news but immunity to the president !!!! not fair !!! He is the head of corruption and if he’s granted immunity who and is gonna have the gutts to try him and when wud he be brought to justice !! P.S I hate babar awan !! Recommend

  • Mirza
    Nov 26, 2011 - 12:37AM

    @haris: I was not talking about law and order situation which is the function of mostly state govt as you stated. I was talking about the cases already in SC and the court is sitting on them for years and decades. Of course CJ cannot police every place but the haste in some cases while ignoring the others says a lot about the selective justice.
    @Imran Mohammad:
    Some people are talking about contempt of the court now. What happened when a power drunk army dictator threw the whole court and their families in detention? Many elites still like that dictator. What about contemt of court when PML-N goons attacked SC while in session? Still many people love that same party. Now shamefully these same supporters of Mush and Sharif talking about contempt of court for mere comments? It is like Hameed Gul talking about constitution all of a sudden.
    Regards,
    Mirza

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  • Malik
    Nov 26, 2011 - 12:58AM

    dear editors..Supreme court is not a person its an institution, so, plz avoid showing Choudhari sab in news relating to supreme court. thanks

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  • Aftab kenneth Wilson
    Nov 26, 2011 - 1:00AM

    Strangely all 17 are on the same page. They always become deaf, dumb and blind in front of dictators and non-state actors.

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  • Babar F.
    Nov 26, 2011 - 2:36AM

    It’s “LAW” only if Court has the power to implement it. How that going to happen?

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  • Mohammad Ahmed Khan
    Nov 26, 2011 - 5:10AM

    It seems that our justice system is not blind – it can see very clearly and can recognise the faces of PPP. Thats what history tells….

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  • basharat
    Nov 26, 2011 - 5:50AM

    There are many judgments of the Supreme Court which had been highly glorified at the time the were pronounced, but the history did not approved them, what will be the status of the present judgment, people have diverse opinions. The President has constitutional immunity against any criminal proceedings during tenure of his office as president of Pakistan. Article 48 of the Constitution provides that no criminal proceedings whatsoever, shall be instituted or continued against him during term of his office. This immunity, in the opinion of many people may be uncalled for and embarrassing but it is not unique to 1973 constitution,immunity provisions were availabe under Article 213 and Article116 respectively of 1956 and 1962 constitutions of Pakistan. President of India also enjoys immunity under aticle 361 of constitution of Indian constitution.
    The President can only be removed by impeachment as provided through article 247 of the cosnstitution, manoeuvres of opposition to oust him through court proceedings are not likely to succeed, the President has option available to him, he can calim immunity as it has not been decided so far.

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  • Rustam Salmeen
    Nov 26, 2011 - 1:09PM

    @ Ammad – My comments for you are ditto as I have made for Mirza.

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