LAHORE–Jurists say the Supreme Court instant order on NRO may yield even more serious consequences than what meets the eyes.

Former Federal Minister Wasi Zafar says that order by the five-member bench of the Supreme Court means that SC is no more interested in passing directions to the Government but is going to take action for not acting upon the NRO verdict.

The SC means business, Wasi said ,adding, that the current Bench has referred the six-options to the larger bench and that bench can and cannot restrict itself to that options but exceed to that.

The former Law Minister sees more heat coming to the Prime Minister ,adding, that if axe falls on the PM, it would not necessarily means the govt also goes with him since Prime Minister and the government in the legal terms are two different entities.

As to the question whether hearing by a larger bench will marginalise room for the government to seek remedy under review after it had kept implementation of the NRO pending for two years testing patience of the court.

Wasi says at this stage any comments on it would be hypothetical as the matter has yet to be decided by the Larger Bench.

However, he said scope of review is very limited and the number of judges in the larger bench plugs the scope of any legal lacuna in a judgment hence narrowing down the chance of review.

The bottom-line of the SC order so far, is that the SC is no more in a mood to pass direction but take action for what the government has done, he said.

Which provision of the law can be invoked against the Prime Minister if he is found to have failed to abide by the Constitution requirements and played a partisan role?, Wasi says on the count that contempt action is mostly taken against the public servants which may be passed on the Chairman NAB etc,however, it is upto the larger bench to decide the future course of action. (The Bench of Sajjad Ali Shah had invoked contempt of court proceedings against the then sitting PM Nawaz Sharif in 1997).

Wasi anticipates the government pleading for the Presidential immunity under Article 248 before the Larger Bench.

Senior jurist A.K.Dogar stated that the undercurrent of the SC verdict is serious and solemn although apparently is shows leniency that the court did not initiate contempt of court proceedings under Article 204 of the Constitution for disobeying its orders.

The court has referred the matter to a larger bench, framing six options for the government.

‘The significance of this move in legal terminology is that seemingly after framing a charge-sheet, the matter has been handed over to the jurisdiction of a larger bench to decide it finally inculcating more weight and authenticity to it’, said Dogar.

Former Law Minister Khalid Ranjha said that the court has given the govt a chance till next date of hearing and from the options it may be read that a fresh public referral on the act of the government may also be a course.

He stated the order is not a decision but a channel to the decision.

Former President LHCBA Ahmad Awais said that the PM’s statement against the NRO decision apparently falls in the domain of misconduct.

He said any step by the government to thwart the court order will be malafide taken with ulterior motives.

‘Now the responsibility has been laid on the government to put things in right direction or face the music as after defying the implementation of the court order, the government has put a big question mark on the prestige and Constitutional status of courts which needed to be defended’, he added.

‘Do all six options lead to one end or different options will have difference consequences? The option may lead to different consequences in various degree against the government but the heat will be serious’, says another jurist.

Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Yaseen Azad said:‘everyone including government is bound to implement the court orders under Article189 of Constitution’.

Azad did not comment about the resignation of Prime Minister after the apex court decision and its observance.

SCBA Vice President Imrana Baloch said legal fraternity would stand with the apex court if government denied the compliance of its decisions.

‘In order to avoid conflict, government should honour the decision of Supreme Court’, she maintained.

She further said that it was up to the government that they take resignation from Prime Minister or not.

Pakistan Bar Council member Azam Nazir said the SC bench had not declared Prime Minister disqualified but referred the case for setting up a larger bench.

‘There is no need of resignation from Prime Minister’, he said ,adding, that a five member bench could only refer the matter but could not direct the larger bench to act in accordance with its (five member bench) observance or recommendations.

Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique praised the decision of the SC bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and said the decision would be fruitful for democratic institutions.

‘The decision will help unveil the faces of anti-judiciary elements who are trying to provide shelter to the looted money’, Siddique said.

He urged the President, Prime Minister, Law Minister and all others, who are not obeying the court orders,to resign because the court had termed them as violators of Constitution.

The President, Prime Minister and Law Minister stand disqualified under Article 62 and 63 of Constitution, Siddique further said.