SC dismisses govt petition against NRO verdict

ISLAMABAD - A full bench of Supreme Court on Friday dismissed government’s plea to review the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) verdict that had called for reopening of money-laundering cases against President Asif Ali Zardari in Swiss courts.

By (Our Correspondent)

Published: Sun 27 Nov 2011, 12:08 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:25 AM

The 17- judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry ruled that the government failed to advance any legal case for the review.

The initial verdict was delivered on December 16, 2009, but the government was reluctant to implement it while maintaining that the president enjoyed immunity from court proceedings at home and abroad.

Justice Chaudhry during arguments observed that the court merely wanted to recover looted money rather than targeting any individual.

The government used dilatory tactics and changed several counsel. This week when the court resumed the hearing it allowed former law minister Babar Awan to submit arguments for the review. Awan was asked to conclude his arguments on Friday but did not appear inviting strong strictures from the court.

The judges felt intrigued that the government was defending a legislation enforced by a military ruler to pardon corruption cases of politicians and bureaucrats.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) emerged the main beneficiary when thousands of its activists were freed under the NRO who were facing charges of committing heinous crimes including murder, kidnapping, extortion and violence.

The chief justice observed that the NRO was required by military ruler Pervez Musharraf to legitimise his re-election in 2007 from assemblies that had exhausted their mandate.

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