ISLAMABAD - A five-member bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, will take up the NRO implementation case today (Wednesday), while the Pakistan People’s Party led government in a reply filed Tuesday said the prime minister cannot write letter to Swiss authorities sans the advice of the federal cabinet.

In the last hearing, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was ordered to write a letter to the Swiss authorities for reopening graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. The court order directed the incumbent prime minister to act in the matter forthwith, saying he had merely stepped into the shoes of his predecessor in office and, thus, he too was bound to implement the relevant directions of the court ‘regardless of any advice tendered earlier or in future.’

The reply said under Article 90 of the Constitution, the advice of the federal cabinet was binding on the prime minister and the cabinet had not yet made any decision to write letter to the Swiss officials.

Submitting its reply before the apex court, the Federation through Attorney General Irfan Qadir prayed the court to recall its subsequent orders, passed on June 26 and July 12 (this year), directing the prime minister to implement para 178 of the NRO judgment.

Meanwhile, SC returned the reply of the Federation for not being entertainable under Order X Rule 2 of the Supreme Court Rules 1980. The Registrar office said the only remedy available to the Federation was to file review under Order XXVI of SC Rules 1980, if so desired.

The attorney general, while filing the reply pleaded, that the subsequent orders of the apex court on June 26 and July 12 (2012) were not in accordance with law, rules and Constitution of Pakistan, illegal, unlawful and without jurisdiction and Coram non justice ,which required reconsideration/hearing of the case for the purpose of rendering complete justice in the case.

He said the option of contempt of court against the new prime minister was now over.

As a five-judge larger bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, is taking up NRO judgment implementation case today (Wednesday), the Federation contended that the incumbent premier had not received any advice from the Cabinet relating to implement para 178 of the NRO judgment so he is not obliged constitutionally to implement the order of the court.

However, the Federation said in its reply that the prime minister could comply with the court orders on the para 178 NRO judgment, if he was advised to write the letter to Swiss authorities by the federal cabinet. The Federation further stated that implementation of para 178 of the NRO judgment was, therefore, one of the collective responsibility of the federal cabinet under Rule 6 of the Rules of Business and Clause 6 of Article 91 of the Constitution.

“The prime minister cannot comply with para 178 except on the advice of the cabinet, which is mandatory required to be referred to the cabinet for discussion/ or advice under Rule 16,” the Federation submitted.

“The resultant effect of the said orders is tantamount to clear-cut violation of Article 248(2) of the Constitution and the PM by virtue of his oath is bound to preserve and to protect the Constitution,” the Federation contended.

The Federation submitted that there was no occasion for the seven member bench of the SC to summon the former PM Yousuf Raza Gilani thrice and termed it utter disregard of the Constitution and the law.

The reply further said the seven-member bench on January 3, 2012 had no authority to amend the ruling of the seventeen-member bench and now option number two relating to the contempt of court was not applicable to the new prime minister, therefore, the court should review its July 12 verdict.

“The PM cannot be asked by the Court for implementation of its unimplementable direction in the NRO case”, the Federation said.

The reply said the Supreme Court assumed full control of the NAB, thereby transgressing in to the executive domain. “Many portions of paras 177, 178 and 179 are not implementable. In fact such portions have not been implementable till date,” the reply concluded.