ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has declared National reconciliation ordinance (NRO) unconstitutional. Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry announced the verdict of 17 member larger bench of Supreme Court late Wednesday night.
The short verdict of the Supreme Court has declared NRO unconstitutional and all the cases which have been sidelined after NRO have been revived once again. The verdict stated that the NRO is against the interests of the country and withdrawing cases from Swiss courts was unconstitutional. The verdict said that former attorney general Malik Qayum was not authorize to write letter to Swiss court, asking for withdrawal of cases. It asked the provincial governments and prosecutors to help courts in NRO cases.
Earlier, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry said that the provisional decision regarding NRO petitions will be announced at 4:30 pm, after the completion of the hearing of the NRO petitions. However, it was announced after a delay of at least five-and-a half hours.
The larger bench of Supreme Court consisting of 17 members started hearing the petitions on NRO. Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry said to care taker Attorney General to produce the original file of the Swiss cases. The care taker Attorney General responded that the government has no availability of the original file of the Swiss cases. Justice Javed Iqbal made remarks on the reply of care taker Attorney General that this is not the time when the things are being hidden and not being produced before the courts as was done in the past. The principal secretary of Presidential House explained in the Supreme Court that there is no original file of Swiss cases in the Presidential House. Chief Justice said on the reply of principal secretary of Presidential House that if there is no original file of Swiss cases in the Presidential House then it means that Presidential House has given the unconstitutional instructions. The principal secretary of Presidential House Salman farooqi said that the file regarding the Swiss cases belongs to the personal section which is being dealt by military secretary. The man assisting the court Justice (retd) Allah Nawaz said that that NRO is immoral and it was brought to safe guards the thieves and robbers. Justic Ramday said in his remarks that 8000 people were given immunity from criminal cases. The man assisting the court Shaiq Usmani said that it was not the right way to give immunity to people involved in the criminal cases.
Farhatullah Babar, Presidential Spokesman said that Pakistan People’s Party government respects the courts and the verdict of the court.
President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari has immunity given by the constitution from all the cases. Under article 242 of the constitution the President Zardari has immunity from all the cases.
Qazi Hussain Ahmed, former Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami, said that the verdict of Supreme Court is the victory of the people of the country. President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari has the legal obligation to resign. All the corrupt people have to face accountability at the present moment. The judiciary has been independant and now it would provide justice to the public of the country, he added.
Rana Sanaullah, Punjab Law Minister said that the decision of Supreme Court of Pakistan to declare NRO as unconstitutional is a very good step. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari has the constitutional immunity from the cases. But it is the moral responsibility of President Zardari that it should resign from presidency, he added.
34 POLITICIANS AMONG NRO BENEFICIARIES
The National Reconciliation Order’s (NRO) beneficiaries include 34 politicians, Federal State Minister for Law Mohammad Afzal Sindhu told media.
The list also includes the major politicians of the country including Pakistan People’s Party leader President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari and Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain. There were 248 beneficiaries include politicians, bureaucrats and three ambassadors, he added. The NRO beneficiaries include President Asif Ali Zardari, Begum Nusrat Bhutto, Rehman Malik, Chaudhry Shaukat Ali, haji Kabeer Ahmed, Jahangir badar, Malik Mushtaq Awan, rana Nazeer Ahmed, mian Mohammad Rasheed, Tariq Anees, Chaudhy Abdul Hameed, Mian Tariq Mehmood, Haji Mohammad NawazAnwar Saifullah Khan, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Sardar Masood Leghari, Agha Siraj Durrani, ftab Ahmed Sherpao, Ghani-ur-Rehman, Haji Gul Sher Khan, Habibullah Kundi, Mirbaz Khan Khatran, Farooq Sattar, Babar Ghuri, Ishrat-ul-Ibad, Noman Sehgal, imran farooq, Shoaib Bokhari, waseem Akhtar, Saleem Shehzad, Qamar Khalid Younis and Safdar Bakri. There are seven cases on President Asif Ali Zardari and 72 cases on MQM leader Altaf hussain, he added.