Ahmad Kasuri asks SC to reject reference to reopen Bhutto case | Pakistan Today

Ahmad Kasuri asks SC to reject reference to reopen Bhutto case

In his reply to the presidential reference seeking to revisit the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto case, Ahmad Raza Kasuri submitted to the Supreme Court on Saturday that the court had no jurisdiction to reopen the case, therefore, the presidential reference should be dismissed since the Supreme Court had already rejected the review petitions unanimously. The federation had filed the presidential reference under Article 186 of the constitution. “That instant case falls within the purview of settled principle of Law, ie ‘closed and past transaction’,” Kasuri stated. Since the administration of justice heavily leaned in favour of ‘finality’, hence a litigation that was closed and past could not be reopened indirectly through Article 186 of the constitution, he contended. Besides, the word ‘revisit’ was unknown both to the law and constitution, he said, adding that one did not find any mention of word in any legal dictionary.
He contended further that the advisory jurisdiction of the court, on an issue where it had already given its judgement, was not tenable keeping in view the interpretation of Article 186 and that was stated by the Supreme Court of India in an identical matter (AIR 1992 SC, 522). Article 143 of the Indian constitution was identical to Article 186 of Pakistan’s constitution, he argued. he counsel said the president was constitutionally empowered to seek the advice or opinion of the apex court and the court had to answer the reference, but it was subject to conditions that the matter would be a ‘live issue’ and not previously decided by the court. “President Asif Ali Zardari is also the holder of the office of co-chairman of the PPP (Pakistan People’s Party), therefore, the reference to the Supreme Court is a reference by the party chief and not by the president of Pakistan. The nature of reference speaks for itself (res ipsa loquitor). Mr Bhutto being the founder of PPP is sought to be cleansed of the slur on his name that he was convicted and hanged for having committed a heinous crime of murder,” Kasuri said.
“Zardari has abused his power as president and in the garb of the reference seeks to reap advantage in utter bad faith (mala fides), by demonstrating that his leader Mr Bhutto was innocent and that the then judiciary was ill disposed against him and committed ‘judicial murder’ of his leader. The present applicant considers that alleging the Supreme Court judgement as ‘judicial murder’ is a blatant contempt of court,” he added. Kasuri said further that the president was an interested party and it would not be possible to file a reference concerning his family affairs since he was the son-in-law of Bhutto.

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