Khosa quits as adviser, NRO battle resumes in SC today
ISLAMABAD: All eyes and cameras will turn to the Constitution Avenue on Wednesday when the Supreme Court will decide whether to first take up the government’s review petition against the National Recon- ciliation Ordinance verdict or simultaneously take up the implementation of the NRO judgment.
The matter is regarded as tricky for the government as it involves communicating with the Swiss authorities for the re-opening of money laundering cases worth $60 million.
In a late night development, Sardar Latif Khosa resigned as adviser to the prime minister, giving an indication that he would appear as the government’s counsel instead of Kamal Azfar.
Mr Azfar had been representing the government in the NRO case, but has now been appointed adviser to prime minister on National Disaster Management with the status of a federal minister.
Sources told Dawn that Sardar Latif Khosa, assisted by his son Khurram Khosa, was directed by the government to appear before the court on Wednesday morning. Although it is not clear what the new government counsel will plead before the 17-judge bench, it is expected he would seek more time to get acquainted with the entire issue on grounds that he had been approached by the government late at night and he did not find time to make preparations for the hearing.
Mr Khosa, who was engaged as the government’s counsel, was made Adviser to the Prime Minister on Information Technology soon after his removal from the post of Attorney General of Pakistan.
Apart from the government’s review petition, the bench will also take up review petitions of former AG Malik Mohammad Qayyum, former Chairman of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Nawid Ahsan, former Prosecutor General of NAB Dr Danishwar Malik and former Deputy Prosecutor General of NAB Abdul Baseer Qureshi.
NAB submitted some documents before the apex court on Tuesday in compliance with a directive of the court. The 17-judge bench comprises
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Javed Iqbal, Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed, Justice Muhammad Sair Ali, Justice Mahmood Akhtar Shahid Siddiqui, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Rahmat Hussain Jafferi, Justice Tariq Parvez, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday.
Nothing sensational happened in the Supreme Court on Tuesday as the federal government could not file an appeal against the rejection of its request to grant more time for engaging a counsel of its choice to plead the review petition pending before the court against the NRO judgment.
Reporters kept shadowing the government’s Advocate-on-Record, Raja Abdul Ghafoor, the entire day only to learn in the end that the appeal against rejection of the plea for postponing the hearing was not ready.
“The appeal could not be filed in time because of want of legal formalities that include submission of court fees of Rs10,000 because by the time the voucher reached us, the State Bank of Pakistan where the fees is deposited had closed,” the AoR told Dawn.
He, however, was confident that the same would be done early on Wednesday morning and said filing review petitions was always a tedious job as it involved a lot of documentation.
Although the AoR did not disclose contents of the appeal it is believed that contentions have been raised that the 17-judge bench should re-consider the government’s request of granting further time, saying at least two prime ministers earlier in the past had to face irreparable loss because they could not properly plead their points of view before the court in the absence of the counsel of their choice.
APP adds: The former prosecutor general of National Accountability Bureau, Mr Irfan Qadir, filed a review petition against his sacking in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
In the review petition, he appealed to the court that his petition be heard in an open court, and not by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, Justice Ramday and Justice Ghullam Rabbani.
Earlier, the SC Registrar Office returned Mr Qadir’s petition after recording some objections. One objection stated that the review petition contained derogatory language against some judges.
A three-member bench of the apex court termed Mr Qadir’s appointment as PG NAB unlawful.