ISLAMABAD: In its short order penned down during the hearing of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) implementation case, the Supreme Court granted immunity to Raja Pervaiz Ashraf from court appearances and directed him to submit a draft of the Swiss letter by September 25, Express News reported Tuesday.
The court ordered that it wanted to review the text of the letter, so that it can gauge if it is in accordance with the directives contained in paragraphs 177 and 178 of the NRO judgment. The judgement had asked the government to request mutual legal assistance from the Swiss authorities.
Law Minister Farooq H Naek had requested the court to give time till September 28. He informed the court that he wanted to outline a draft that is acceptable to both the federation and the court.
Ashraf had prayed to the court to provide him immunity from court appearances.
Heading a five-member bench, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa told PM Ashraf to bring a drafted letter to the court and said that he will not be disturbed after that.
The graft cases were shelved in 2007 after then attorney general Malik Qayum wrote letters to the Swiss authorities following the promulgation of the NRO. The Supreme Court, however, scrapped the NRO in 2009 and declared that all cases closed under the defunct law stood open.
Ashraf informed the court that he gave Law Minister Farooq H Naek the reference of the letter written by Qayum to the Swiss authorities asking for the graft cases to be closed, and added that the Swiss authorities can reopen it if they chose to.
The court directed the prime minister to provide a record of the letter written by Qayum.
Ashraf had reached the Supreme Court along with coalition members and proceeded towards courtroom number four.
He said that he “contemplated” a lot during the three-weeks time given to him by the Supreme Court. Ashraf said that the matter is not related to President Zardari, but his rank and that he hoped that the court will respect his post.
The prime minister had said that the court will have to keep in mind the current situation when making the decision.
Security had been beefed up in the capital, with around 100 police officials deployed at and around the Supreme Court.