ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Friday disposed of National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case against Pervez Musharraf, Asif Ali Zardari and former attorney general Justice (retd) Malik Mohammad Qayyum.

When the hearing commenced, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, heading a three-judge bench, remarked that this court shall not proceed further in the matter as the respondents Zardari, Musharraf and Qayyum have submitted their assets’ details.

The Chief Justice enquired about the petitioner Feroz Shah Gillani as the court had issued notices to respondents. To this, Gillani's counsel informed the bench that he was ill and did not appear before the court.

Justice Nisar remarked, court has received the assets’ details of Zardari, Musharraf and Malik Qayyum and now law will follow its due course. The court then wrapped up Feroz Shah's petition.

Nominating Musharraf, Zardari and Qayyum as respondents, petitioner Feroz Shah Gillani had requested the court in April to order recovery of ‘huge amounts of public money’ allegedly misappropriated and wasted by them through unlawful means "already on record in different judgments of the Supreme Court and high court".

Petitioner Gillani, in his concise statement, had contended that Musharraf arbitrarily withdrew criminal and corruption cases against politicians and others including Zardari which caused a huge financial loss to the national exchequer.

It added that a full bench of top court in its landmark judgment of 16 December 2009 declared NRO void ab initio.

Thus the respondents Musharraf, Qayyum and Zardari are liable to compensate all the losses and damages suffered by the exchequer of debt-ridden Pakistan, including the loss of $60 million in the Swiss banks representing the illegal funds acquired through corruption and money laundering by Zardari, the petition added.

It further stated that Qayyum, who had also been a judge, while hearing the Ehtesab case against Zardari violated the Code of Conduct of the judges by obtaining undue favours from the prosecution side getting in return diplomatic passport and other benefits for himself and his wife in clear violations of the rules.

The SC in its judgment of NRO stated:“as far as issuing a letter to Attorney General of Geneva dated April 7, 2008 by Malik Muhammad Qayyum Attorney General) is concerned, it seems that he had done so in his personal capacity, against the Rules of Business, 1973,” the petition quoted the para from judgment.

Responsibility of the colossal financial losses to the national exchequer as described above rests fully on General (r) Musharraf, Qayyum and Zardari who should compensate the country by reimbursing the amount of the loss in the national exchequer, reiterated the petitioner.

On Oct 11 last year, the Chief Justice during the hearing of the case had observed that he does not want to retire with the stigma of being biased in deciding the cases. The Chief Justice is retiring on January 17.

He had further observed that no one should complain that this court was setting scores, or victimising and targeting others, or even the court was biased.

In earlier hearing of the case, Musharraf’s counsel Advocate Akhtar Shah submitted a medical report of his client with the request of confidentiality.

However, the Chief Justice had remarked that the order declaring Musharraf as absconder could not be revoked adding that this court had already assured him provision of security and medical treatment of his own choice.

He had also observed that he wanted to make it clear once again that this court had never allowed Musharraf to go abroad rather it was then government which allowed him.

On October 2 last year, the top court had assured absconding former military ruler General (r) Pervez Musharraf that he will not be arrested on his arrival to Pakistan.

On November 9 of last year, then Additional Attorney General Syed Nayyar Rizvi representing the government informed the bench that NRO has become past and closed transaction and another trial is not appropriate in constitutional petition.

Zardari had also challenged the top court’s August 29 order, wherein assets’ details of Zardari’s family sought.

While challenging the order, Zardari said that seeking assets’ details of his family will tantamount to conduct the trial of his martyred wife Benazir Bhutto.

“Whether the impugned order (dated August 29) even seeks the details of assets of the petitioner’s late wife Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and whether this equates to giving chance to Syed Feroze Gillani to conduct a trial on the grave of martyr?” Zardari questioned in his petition.

On June 26 last year, Zardari submitted his reply in the case and had contended that the petition regarding NRO 2007 was only an attempt to politically victimize him.

He further contended that cases against him were reopened after the top court had set aside the NRO and he had been acquitted from all the allegations.

He had termed the petition frivolous, vexatious and a classic example of a politically motivated in order to malign him so that maximum political damage is caused to him and the PPP.

The reply added that the petition was in furtherance of malicious design specifically in order to defame, disparage and malign the reputation of one of the largest political parties of Pakistan and its co-chairperson.

All such allegations and accusations were rebutted and proved false which is evident from the fact of the acquittal of Zardari in all criminal cases pending against him, Zardari’s reply had further argued.

It had further stated that in 2007, certain political elements realized that politically motivated cases existed against politicians and it was in no one’s benefit to continue with their prosecution.

 

20pc fee cut order applies to all private schools: CJP

 

APP adds: CJP Saqib Nisar Friday clarified its order for 20 percent reduction in monthly fee is applicable to all private schools across the country, with no exceptions.

He made these remarks while hearing another case.

In its December 13 ruling, the apex court had ordered all private schools to reduce 20 percent monthly fee. The court also barred private schools from increasing the annual fee by more than five percent.

Any hike of more than five percent in school fee would have to be approved by a regulatory board, the court ordered adding that in any case, the increase in fee could not be more than eight percent, it added.

 

DRUGS IN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

 

The Supreme Court directed authorities concerned to launch an advertisement campaign on social media against usage of drugs in educational institutions.

A three-judge bench headed by CJP Saqib Nisar also directed provincial chief secretaries, the anti-narcotics division, and secretaries of other relevant ministries to call a meeting and devise an action plan within a week.

The bench passed the directions while hearing a suo motu case on the usage of drugs in private as well as government educational institutions.

During course of proceedings, representative of Lahore police submitted a report in compliance with earlier court order, however, the bench rejected it and termed it incomplete.

The chief justice said a comprehensive advertisements campaign should be launched to create awareness among the students and masses, adding that this initiative should be started from next day (Saturday).

Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan said just like national action plan to tackle terrorism in the country, a plan should be made and enforced against drugs.

 

SC closes NRO case against Musharraf, Zardari