Islamabad: A 17-member larger bench of
Pakistan`s Supreme Court will take up on May 25 a petition
filed by the government seeking a review of the court`s
verdict annulling a graft amnesty that benefited President
Asif Ali Zardari and thousands of others.
Apart from the government`s petition, review
petitions have also been filed by former Attorney General
Malik Qayyum, former National Accountability Bureau chairman
Naveed Ahsan, former NAB prosecutor general Danishwer Malik
and former NAB additional prosecutor general Abdul Baseer
In its review petition, the government said the
reopening of graft cases against Zardari in Switzerland would
be tantamount to a trial of his slain wife Benazir Bhutto`s
Zardari was one of the key beneficiaries of the
controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance, which was
issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.
The apex court scrapped the NRO in December, 2009.
"An order to reopen cases abroad would be tantamount
to putting Benazir Bhutto`s grave on trial, which is against
all norms of justice, decency, morality and the law," said the
review petition filed by the government through lawyer Kamal
The petition said the government was criticised
without being heard on several important issues in the apex
court`s verdict and this was in breach of the time-honoured
judicial principle of natural justice.
The government filed a review petition on January 16
but it was returned by the apex court because of some
The government subsequently filed an amended petition
that defended the closure of proceedings against Zardari in
The government also questioned the legality of
mutual legal assistance in the context of the Swiss cases,
saying a letter dated October 7, 1997, written by former
Attorney General Chaudhry Muhammad Farooq led to fallacious
proceedings against Benazir Bhutto, her mother Nusrat Bhutto
The apex court will on May 25 also resume hearing a
suo moto case on the implementation of its verdict annulling
Law Minister Babar Awan has been summoned to appear
before a five-judge bench to explain why the government has
not reopened the cases in Switzerland against Zardari.