SC serves notice on Ahmad Raza Kasuri in ZAB reference

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An 11-member larger bench of the Supreme Court on Monday served notice on Ahmad Raza Kasuri advocate, on whose complaint a murder case was registered against former prime minister and PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry served the notice with the consent of counsel for the federation and the amicus curiae. The court directed provision of presidential reference and Bhutto case record to Kasuri. Bhutto was awarded death sentence on the charges of being a conspirator of murder of Nawab Muhammad Ahmad Khan Kasuri, father of Ahmad Raza Kasuri advocate. During the hearing, the chief justice regretted that those who were posing themselves as heroes and loudly speaking on television shows about the death sentence of Bhutto should have showed courage in past.
Babar Awan contended before the court that there was no need to call Kasuri, as no relief had been sought in the presidential reference. He said the Supreme Court had not summoned president Gen Pervez Musharraf while giving verdict in November 3, 2007 emergency case. The chief justice noted that everywhere in the presidential reference the word “reopening” had been used, adding that president Musharraf was summoned but he did not appear. He said article 10-A had been added in the constitution through the 19th Amendment under which it was necessary for the court to hear the opponent party.
Awan submitted that the court order of awarding death sentence to Bhutto had a legal status and the Supreme Court had power to correct a legal error or wrong law.
He said after the death sentence was announced to Bhutto, Farooq Kardar – the prosecutor of Bhutto case – had revealed that it was a judicial murder. He said Kardar wanted to file an affidavit in this regard, however, he was not allowed. The chief justice said the people who posing as heroes today should have had the courage at that time.
Meanwhile, the court asked the federation’s counsel, attorney general, advocates-general of all the provinces as well as amicus curiae – Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, SM Zafar, Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, Aitzaz Ahsan and others to consult each other and inform the court whether notice should be served to Ahmad Raza Kasuri.
After a brief consultation, Aitzaz Ahsan, on behalf of the experts, told the court that although the notice was not necessary, it should be served so that no bad impression could come from any level in the future.
The court has been adjourned until January 2.