PM’s defiance: SC to announce final NRO verdict on April 16

Apex court also requests NAB to submit compliance report by April 10.


Azam Khan March 29, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s attempts to keep the Supreme Court at bay were denied again on Thursday when the highest court of the land cited noncompliance by the premier for not pursuing graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari and reserved its final verdict for the NRO implementation case for April 16.

“Instead of submitting a compliance report in response of our March 8 direction regarding the implementation of paragraph 178 of the judgment --- writing a letter to Swiss authorities for the revival of graft cases --- an application has been made by the principal secretary to the PM seeking postponement of proceedings till the contempt case is decided,”

A seven-member bench hearing the NRO implementation case also directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to submit a complete compliance report for the case till April 10. The court observed that since there had been no compliance by the PM in response to the court’s March 8 order, an appropriate order would be passed by the court on April 16.

“In the last hearing of the case, we had directed the prime minister to write the letter to Swiss authorities by March 21,” Justice Nasirul Mulk observed while addressing the attorney general. He went on to inquire as to why the prime minister had not written the letter to Swiss authorities as of yet.

Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq, who is also the prosecutor of the case, informed the court that the prime minister had asked him to seek deferment of the case verdict until the decision for the contempt of court case against him was announced. However, the bench was not convinced of the validity of the premier’s request.

Justice Nasirul Mulk observed that the premier could not escape judgment on the basis that the verdict for the contempt of court case had not been announced while Justice Asif Saeed Khosa clarified that the NRO implementation case and contempt of court proceedings were two different separate matters.

“You should not mix both cases; they are different in nature.”

Meanwhile, Justice Ather Saeed said the prime minister had once again committed contempt of court by not implementing its March 8 orders in the NRO implementation case, adding that since the judicial review petition regarding the NRO case had already been rejected, writing a letter to Swiss authorities had become obligatory.

“Forget about what he did intentionally or unintentionally. The court has once again directed the prime minister to write the letter,” said Justice Khosa, while addressing the attorney general. Justice Ejaz Afzal seconded Justice Saeed’s remarks and said the prime minister had continuously disobeyed the court’s orders, adding that “until the prime minister does not write the letter, he is disregarding the court’s orders every day.”

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