• Friday, December 6, 2019

Supreme Court moved against NRO

Discussion in 'Pakistani Siasat' started by BATMAN, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. BATMAN

    BATMAN ELITE MEMBER

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    Supreme Court moved against NRO

    LAHORE: A lawyer filed a petition on Friday in the Supreme Court challenging the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), 2007, and seeking monetary penalties against the beneficiaries of the ordinance.

    Petitioner advocate Syed Feroz Shah Gilani says the NRO was issued with ‘criminal intents’ to strike an illegal deal between General Pervez Musharraf (retired) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairperson Benazir Bhutto that caused great damage to national interest.He pleads that Gen Musharraf removed 60 judges of the superior judiciary and detained them along with their families just to shield the NRO.

    He said Gen Musharraf issued the NRO as a personal bargaining favour to the late Bhutto, her party associates and bureaucrats whose corruption and plundering of national resources ran into hundreds of billions of rupees.

    The petitioner says that legislation through ordinances by the president and governors is contrary to democratic principles and no democratic polity tolerates this method of bypassing legislative assemblies.

    He says due to frequent promulgation of ordinances, legislative assemblies do not give proper attention to their primary duty of law making.

    Mr Shah said the Income Tax Department was bound to probe into huge assets of beneficiaries of the NRO who evaded taxation.

    Since the enactment of the NRO and acquittals of the beneficiaries, no investigation has been carried out by the Income Tax Department with the help of the National Accountability Bureau.

    The petitioner said the court ruled the NRO null and void and direct Gen Musharraf to compensate the nation and pay into the national kitty hundreds of billions of rupees lost due to his shady deal with the late Bhutto.

    He also prayed the Federal Board of Revenue be directed to impose income tax on accused persons whose cases has been annulled under the NRO.
     
  2. BATMAN

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    Minister hopes parliament will approve NRO

    By Muhammad Ahmad Noorani

    ISLAMABAD: PPP’s junior Law Minister Afzal Sindhu says that his party will successfully get the NRO approved from the parliament without any burden on anyone’s conscience. On the other hand, most members of the NA standing committee on law and justice, to which the draft of this law will be referred, are set to oppose the ordinance.

    Minister of State for Law and Justice Muhammad Afzal Sindhu while talking to The News Saturday night claimed that he was hundred per cent sure that NRO will be approved by the parliament with ease. “It is not the question of burden on any one’s conscience but the question of victimisation of political leadership and a matter of reconciliation.”

    On the question whether he was sure that all the cases were false, the minister said, “Yes”.The PPP government has decided to place the NRO before the parliament in view of the detailed judgment of the apex court regarding November 3, 2007 acts of former president Pervez Musharraf.

    Sindhu was told that now that the PPP was in power it should get these cases, whether real or false, settled through government agencies. The minister said it would be foolish to say that we should try to settle these cases through the agencies working under our control, as the people will criticise this practice. Sindhu said that his party would honour the Supreme Court judgment in letter and spirit.

    To a question, Sindhu said he is not the one to decide when NRO bill will be presented before the parliament. “This will be decided by the presidency or the prime minister or the cabinet,” Sindhu said adding “According to my perception NRO bill will be presented in the National Assembly during the current session, starting Monday (today)”.

    On the other hand, the NA standing committee, which will take up the NRO bill soon after its presentation in the National Assembly, is hostile towards this highly controversial law. Eight of its 15 members belong to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party. Except one no other member said he would favour the NRO bill. To tackle this situation the government is trying to replace some vocal members of the PPP with ‘loyalists’. Four members of the committee from the PML-N and three from the PML-Q will oppose the NRO bill.

    Ijaz Virk Advocate, PPP MNA from Faisalabad while talking to The News said that during the last 12 years we have been alleging that investigation agencies or bureaus working under Nawaz Sharif or Musharraf’s government were biased. “The best way to eliminate these false cases will be to get them investigated by independent agencies working under our own government,” Virk said.

    Another PPP MNA, Shakeela Rasheed, widow of late Sheikh Rasheed of PPP, also expressed similar views. Shakeela said that she has come to know that her name has been removed from the committee in favour of Naveed Qamar. She said that she will protest this and fight for her right to continue as member of the committee on law and justice.

    Chairperson of the committee Begum Nasim Akhtar Chaudhry when approached by The News regarding her stance in case the NRO bill is presented before her committee said: “We will see when the bill comes to us” adding “But you should contact Attorney General Latif Khosa who is the relevant person to speak in this regard.”

    Latif Khosa said that as a review petition on November 3 case will be heard on Monday (today) by a 14-member bench of the Supreme Court and the issue is sub judice so he will not comment on this.

    When told that the said review petition is about November 3 acts and judges’ appointment, and not about NRO, Khosa said, “No, it also contains NRO portion and you are asking this question in view of the detailed judgment of the apex court on the same case.”

    Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor, PPP MNA and member of the committee, said that the committee would never make a wrong law. “Every bill presented before the committee will be legally analysed and there will be fair play.”

    Ghafoor said that he or any other member of his party will not be influenced by party pressure.Tariq Shabbir, PPP MNA from Lahore, said he would favour the NRO as all the cases registered against politicians were false and politically motivated.

    PML-Q leader and member of the committee Riaz Fityana said that if NRO is presented before the committee majority of the members including those belonging to the PPP will reject it. He said that his party would oppose the draft bill at every forum. Fityana said that he was against NRO and will continue to oppose it.

    Engineer Ameer Muqam, a close friend of former dictator Pervez Musharraf, said that he was against the NRO at the time of its promulgation and will oppose it if it is presented before the committee.

    Zahid Hamid and Justice (R) Iftikhar Cheema of PML-N said that they will oppose the NRO tooth and nail in the committee and in the house.Aush Rehman was of the view that as NRO appears to be against the spirit of the constitution she will not vote in its favour. Saira Afzal Tarar of the PML-N too was of the same view.

    Justice (R) Fakhar-un-Nisa Khokhar of PPP didn’t talk to The News on the issue while Syed Zafar Ali Shah and Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho of PPP and S A Iqbal Qadri of MQM were unapproachable.
     
  3. BATMAN

    BATMAN ELITE MEMBER

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    Lawyers say president can’t be prosecuted

    By Tariq Butt

    ISLAMABAD: Asif Ali Zardari cannot be prosecuted in any criminal case as long as he is the president even if the NRO is not validated by parliament, but civil cases can be filed against him, legal experts say.

    But he will be divested of this constitutional immunity and will be in the dock for all the criminal and corruption cases quashed under the NRO after he would no longer be the president. “No criminal proceedings can be instituted and not even pending cases of such nature can be continued against a person under the Constitution till the time he is president of Pakistan,” constitutional expert Senator Wasim Sajjad told The News.

    Another leading lawyer, Justice (retd) Malik Mohammed Qayyum, said civil proceedings could be initiated and an election petition could be filed against the president even during his tenure. He agreed that no proceeding of criminal importance could be initiated against the president till the time he was holding this position.

    The question of constitutional protection to the president was thrown up by the detailed judgment of the Supreme Court against Nov 3, 2007 action of Pervez Musharraf when it held that the NRO became non-existent on Feb 5, 2008 after living its 120-day constitutional life. Musharraf had issued the NRO on Oct 5, 2007.

    Paragraphs 186 and 187 of the decision convey that the government would have to get the NRO passed from parliament with retrospective effect if it wants to protect the massive benefits secured by Zardari and a number of other people under this ordinance although it had expired when they availed of this kind of unprecedented relief.

    Wasim Sajjad referred to Article 248 of the Constitution to elaborate the constitutional protection given to the president. Its clause 2 says “no criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or (pending cases) continued against the president or a governor in any court during his term of office.” Its following clause reads: “No process for the arrest or imprisonment of the president or a governor shall issue from any court during his term of office.”

    Clause 4 reads: “No civil proceedings in which relief is claimed against the president or a Governor shall be instituted during his term of office in respect of any thing done or not done by him in his personal capacity whether before or after he enters upon his office unless, at least sixty days before the proceedings are instituted, notice in writing has been delivered to him, or sent to him in the manner prescribed by law, stating the nature of the proceedings, the cause of action, the name, description and place of residence of the party by whom the proceedings are to be instituted and the relief which the party claims.”

    This constitutional immunity is limited to the president and provincial governors alone while other top office holders like the prime minister, federal and provincial ministers, ministers of state and chief ministers are not protected this way, Wasim Sajjad said.

    He said clause 1 of Article 248 is general while clause 2 is specific. Clause 1 says: “The president, a governor, the prime minister, a federal minister, a minister of state, the chief minister and a provincial minister shall not be answerable to any court for the exercise of powers and performance of functions of their respective officers or for any act done or purported to be done in the exercise of those powers and performance of those functions.”

    Wasim Sajjad said superior courts have held that the constitutional immunity, available to the president from criminal proceedings whatsoever, did not equally apply to the prime ministers, chief ministers and federal and provincial ministers. The courts have observed that if any one of these office holders commits contempt of court, he would have to face the judicial process to the effect.

    For example, Nawaz Sharif as prime minister faced contempt of court proceedings and appeared more than once before the Supreme Court, which was then headed by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah.
    Responding to a question whether the president can’t be tried because of the constitutional protection even if he murders someone during his term, Wasim Sajjad laid emphasis on the words: “No criminal proceedings whatsoever” occurring in clause 2 of Article and said he could not be proceeded against during his term. But murder proceedings will be initiated against the president after he would no more hold this office, the lawyer added.
     
  4. Student

    Student BANNED

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    NRO if presented to any lawyer from any country that is not baised in any way shape or from will say that it is against the spirit of justice. Only the rich elite of this country can get an NRO or an aggrement and wash all there dirty clothes. NRO is nothing other than the NATIONAL HYPOCRACY ORDINANCE. The same goes for the presidential pardon. Who is the president to pardon someone other than the crime was commited against him in person. We have had enough of PPP PML(A-N-Z-etc) MQM ANP. These parties only worry for their respective swiss accounts that seem to be growing by the day while the poor are dying of hunger and the rest are being offered as kosher meat to US and NATO.:pakistan: