• Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Supreme Court larger bench to resume hearing in Zulfikar Ali Bhutto reference tomorrow

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PPP has already submitted its written comments to apex court along with some additional documents

Former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. — X/@sherryrehman
Former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. — X/@sherryrehman
  • CJP Qazi Faez Isa will head nine-member top court bench.
  • Earlier, Justice Mansoor raised questions over reference.
  • Court proceedings of the reference were broadcast live.

A nine-member larger bench of the Supreme Court on Monday (tomorrow) would hear a presidential reference pertaining to the sentence of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto — the country’s first elected chief executive and founder of the nuclear programme.

The apex court larger bench — led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Amin-ud-Din Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Musarrat Hilali — would resume hearing the presidential reference seeking to revisit the 1979 “controversial” death sentence awarded to the PPP founder.

Bhutto was hanged to death on April 4, 1979, in the Rawalpindi district jail in a murder case. His party, however, termed the capital punishment to Bhutto as “judicial murder”.

Former president Asif Ali Zardari, on April 2, 2011, approached the apex court through a presidential reference under Article 186 of the Constitution to seek its opinion on revisiting the trial of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) founder.

It is pertinent to mention here that Bhutto served as the country’s foreign minister from 1963 to 1966. He also served as president of the country from 1971 to 1973 (almost a 20-month period) and as premier from 1973 to 1977.

The PPP has already submitted its written comments to the apex court last day along with some additional documents including transcripts and video recordings of various interviews.

During the previous hearing on December 12, 2023, Justice Mansoor raised questions over the presidential reference.

The SC judge sought assistance in determining the questions of law, observing that the court had already dismissed the appeal against its verdict which had also achieved the finality.

“The Supreme Court can’t hear another appeal on the matter. How can we rehear the matter that had been closed?”

The court proceedings of the reference were broadcast live on the official website and the YouTube channel of the Supreme Court.


— Additional input from APP.

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