Supreme Court objects to Swiss letter draft again
By: Sohail Khan
ISLAMABAD: Objecting to the third paragraph of the draft letter to be sent to the Swiss attorney general in Geneva for reopening the graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, the Supreme Court on Friday directed the government to submit a revised draft by October 10.
“The last paragraph of the letter is not in accordance with the direction given by the court in para 178 of the judgment in the NRO case,” the five-member special bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, told Federal Minister for Law Farooq H Naek.
“We considered the contents of the purpose of the letter to be sent to attorney general in Geneva, Switzerland and found that some of the issues appear to be sorted out but there are some aspects which needed to be addressed by the government so as to make it a communication representing the letter in true spirit of para 178 of the judgment delivered in the NRO case,” the court ruled in its order.
On the request of the federal minister for law seeking an adjournment of the case for consulting the prime minister, the court directed the law minister to improve the draft by October 10 in the best interest of justice and in the interest of proper resolution of the issue of the NRO case judgment implementation.
Earlier, Farooq H Naek, in compliance with the earlier order of the court, submitted the draft letter to the bench hearing the NRO implementation case. He told the court that the government had presented the draft in the light of the observation made by the court in para 178 of the NRO case judgment and if the court had any reservation over the draft, he should be told.
The law minister contended that the executive desired all the institutions work for the betterment of the country. He submitted that the government was determined to respecting the judiciary and committed to implementing its orders.
Later, the court took the draft of the letter and got a short break for examining it in chamber. When the court resumed the hearing after a few minutes, Justice Asif Seed Khan Khosa told the law minister that the last paragraph of the draft letter was not in accordance with para 178 of the NRO case judgment. He observed that all efforts of the government should not go in waste. “We will not want that the entire exercise goes in waste,” he added.
Farooq Naek, however, submitted that the government had some reservations hence he would like to go back and consult the prime minister. “We are only inches away from a perfect solution,” Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa replied.
“But I want two things: first adjournment and second to have a meeting with your lordship in chamber,” Naek replied, adding that the issue was of immense importance, hence it should not be disclosed in the open court as it could create some complications. “Just for fifteen minutes as it will be in the best interest of the country,” Naek requested the court. “We are also conscious of the matter,” Justice Khosa said.
Meanwhile, Justice Khosa, after taking the consent of other members of the bench, said that although they were reluctant to hold a meeting in chamber but as they were very close to its resolution, they were giving another chance. The judges went to their chambers and called Farooq H Naek there for a meeting.
After resuming the hearing, the court directed Farooq Naek to revise the draft of the letter by October 10 in accordance with the direction of the court given in para 178 of the NRO judgment and adjourned the hearing.