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SC to hear reference against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto death sentence next week

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  • Nine-member bench, headed by CJP, to hear reference.
  • Last hearing of reference was held on Nov 11, 2022.
  • SC to also hear IHC ex-judge Shaukat Siddiqui plea on removal.

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court is set to take up the 12-year-old presidential reference on revisiting the controversial death sentence awarded to former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto next week, The News reported Friday. 

A nine-member larger bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, will hear the presidential reference on reconsideration of Bhutto’s death sentence judgment on December 12.

The decision to fix the instant case was made under Section 2(1) of the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023, by a three-member committee comprising CJP Isa, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Ijazul Ahsan.

According to Supreme Court Registrar Jazeela Aslam, the other members of the larger bench are Justice Masood, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Aminud Din Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, and Justice Musarrat Hilali.

It is pertinent to mention that former president Asif Ali Zardari, on April 2, 2011, had approached the apex court through a presidential reference under Article 186 of the Constitution to seek its opinion on revisiting the trial of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The last hearing of the reference was held on November 11, 2022.

Earlier, an 11-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, had conducted five hearings in the presidential reference.

Babar Awan, the then federal law minister in the PPP regime, had earlier appeared as the federal government’s lawyer in the case and presented lengthy arguments. However, on January 17, 2012, Awan’s law practice license was suspended for criticising the court’s order in the Memogate case. Later, the case was adjourned due to a change of counsel who were appearing in the instant reference.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has also fixed the petition of sacked Islamabad High Court (IHC) Judge Shaukat Siddiqui challenging his removal for misconduct on December 14.

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PTI is given further time by the ECP to provide documents in the intra-party election case.

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Following an intra-party elections case, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was given an extension by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday to submit its paperwork.

Hearings were held on the PTI intra-party election case before a three-member bench chaired by Sindh ECP member Nisar Durrani.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ECP member questioned who oversaw the PTI elections as it wasn’t an organization.

Regarding the PTI’s recent election, the ECP voiced no objections. Barrister Gohar, the Chief of PTI, replied, “We plan to address a few legal and technical queries given enough time.”

During the raid on the PTI Central Secretariat, he claimed that the police had seized everything, including crucial party records, and that they had not even left a “water dispenser.”

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The PTI has filed a petition with the Lahore High Court to seek permission for holding a protest at Minar-e-Pakistan on August 14.

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In its appeal, PTI said that there will be no unlawful activity during the gathering, which they intended to hold on August 14 at Minar-e-Pakistan.

Permission from the court to hold the rally at Minar-e-Pakistan was requested.

PTI also asked for an injunction to stop harassing the petitioner and their family.

Notifying the Deputy Commissioner and other relevant parties, the court requested their comments. There was a one-week delay in the heating.

Note that the administration was also ordered by the Islamabad High Court to hold talks with the PTI in order to arrange a public gathering.

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The chairman of PTI, Barrister Gohar, and Raoof Hasan have been arrested.

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Senator Shibli Faraz of the PTI alleged on Monday that the Islamabad Capital Territory Police (ICT) surrounded the PTI secretariat in Islamabad and apprehended PTI chairman Barrister Gohar and party spokesperson Rauf Hasan.

A substantial group of law enforcement officers arrived outside the PTI secretariat, accompanied by female police personnel.

Shibli Faraz alleged that the chairman of PTI and Rauf Hasan were apprehended by the ICT Police.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Central Secretariat was sealed by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on May 24. The operation, carried out in cooperation with the district administration, featured anti-encroachment teams armed with heavy machinery that were deployed at the location situated in Sector G-84.

As to a representative from the CDA, the specific plot was assigned to an individual named Sartaj Ali. Nevertheless, instances of non-compliance with building regulations, such as the erection of an extra level, were observed. Additionally, it was stated that the political party had unlawfully occupied the neighboring acreage.

The Islamabad High Court issued a directive on June 4, instructing authorities to promptly remove the seal from Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s headquarters office in the federal capital, Islamabad.

Justice Thaman Rifat Imtiaz of the Islamabad High Court has delivered a ruling that was previously kept undisclosed. The court granted PTI’s case against the Capital Development Authority CDA.

On June 3, the Islamabad High Court deferred its verdict regarding the appeal against sealing the central secretariat of PTI and the CDA operation.

On May 27, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed the objection raised by the registrar’s office about the case filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). The petition was against the closure of the party’s central secretariat and the actions of the Capital Development Authority (CDA). The instruction was given.

The PTI leader filed a petition seeking the annulment of the CDA’s order to seal the Central Secretariat.

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