LAHORE - After the Supreme Courts dismissal of review petition on NRO verdict, it has become obligatory for the federation to implement courts December 2009 judgement against the ordinance, which was issued by dictatorial regime of president Musharraf and was declared a black law by the apex court. The federation consists of the prime minister and his cabinet while provinces are its components, but the jurists say it is the prime minister who is principally responsible for implementing the SC verdict and he would have to face the consequences in case of non-compliance of the court order. As per law, after dismissal of the review plea, the original December 16, 2009 decision of the SC on the contemptuous National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) has re-emerged for the purpose of implementation. The federation was directed by the court to place before the parliament all ordinances, introduced by the Musharraf government from October 2007 and during the period of its Nov 3, 2007 state of emergency, either for the purpose of their continuation or rejection. The NRO, which was introduced in the first week of October 2007, however, could not be placed before the parliament for consideration mainly because the ruling PPP lacked the requisite strength in the National Assembly to get it passed as not only the main opposition party, the PML-N, but the partners in the coalition government, MQM and JUI-F, also had refused to support the same. Now the NRO virtually does not exist as a law and what the SC had directed in the previous order needs to be carried out. All cases of corruption which the NAB had secured scrapped from the Accountability Courts in light of the NRO also stand revived for decision on merit before the courts. One cardinal aspect of the court directions was to the federal government for reinitiating the Swiss cases pending against President Asif Ali Zardari and the court wanted the government to write to the Swiss authorities for this purpose, which the government has so far defied citing immunity for the president against prosecution on criminal charges under Article 248 of the constitution. PPP leader and the former SCBA President Aitzaz Ahsan supports this view point and says, the president still has a protection of Article 248 and cases against him could not be heard while he is in the office. But Barrister Aitzaz says without mincing words that the government would have to implement this NRO decision and the cases yet not opened too would need to be put before the court for hearing. He also says it would be worth noting how the Swiss authorities respond if and when the government writes to them on the cases. It may be recalled that the government has already refused to write to the Swiss authorities for reopening cases against President Zardari in terms of Article 248. However, jurists are divided on the question of cases against President Zardari. One says the alleged offence pertains to the period when Asif Ali Zardari was not in the office of President so cases can be heard while the other says, as long as Zardari is in the office, he enjoys constitutional immunity as a matter of protecting the state from any disturbance if his qualification to hold the office would become questionable. For the jurists what the executive would write to Swiss authorities is very vital. Would it write in compliance with the SC decision to secure protection of Article 248 of the constitution and what would be status of President Zardaris disqualification to hold the office if the government calls for reopening of the criminal cases against him? Former SCBA president Muhammad Akram Sheikh says the executive is now bound to write to the Swiss government and if it does not do, the criminal liability would fall on the prime minister under the Contempt of Court law as the PM heads the government and is responsible for obeying the court orders. And if the PM will write the letter, President Asif Ali Zardari will be hit by inherent disqualification to hold the constitutional post. Akram Sheikh maintains that the immunity of Article 248 would be available to the President if venue of trial is Pakistan and when the place of hearing is extra-territorial or outside the country, protection of the provision is not available to him. He said no timeframe has been set for executing the SC order, which means it needs to be carried out immediately. Previously, the executive took shelter under the present review petition whenever the court asked for writing to the Swiss courts and this shelter is no more with the executive now, Sheikh Akram said, the December 2009 order was not suspended even for one day therefore it is still operational. Senator SM Zafar says the SC has not specifically made any direction relating to the president but has sought action under the law. He says the present is a short decision, and detailed one may contain more than what was held in the original decision. He says the government has option of writing to the Swiss government for ignoring what was written to it previously and reinitiating hearing of the pending cases to conclude them according to the law. Zafar says the President does not have immunity of Article 248 while case is being heard outside the country. However that question may also be determined by the Swiss court. He says guilt has not been proved against President Zardari so far, therefore, no adverse implications would come to his office till the court decides the cases.