SC adjourns Zulfikar Ali Bhutto reference hearing indefinitely | Pakistan Today

SC adjourns Zulfikar Ali Bhutto reference hearing indefinitely

Supreme Court (SC), resuming the hearing of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto presidential reference after a span of nearly a year, adjourned indefinitely the hearing owing to absence of Aitzaz Ahsan, the counsel of prosecution.
According to a private TV channel, a nine-strong larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry heard the case.
The court was told that Ahsan in currently in Karachi to attend the funeral prayers of former federal minister Iqbal Haider.
The court maintained that it received a letter from President Asif Ali Zardari to the effect of Ahsan being appointed a counsel in the ZAB reference; however, he himself should appear before the court and pledge consent to be a counsel.
Barrister Gohar told the court that Aitzaz also will give his consent to be a counsel in written form.
The court adjourned the hearing for an indefinite period over the absence of Aitzaz Ahsan.
The CJ earlier constituted a nine-member bench to resume the proceedings of the presidential reference after over 10 months.
It should be mentioned here that President Zardari, in April 2011, appealed to the apex court, through a presidential reference under Article 186 of the Constitution, seeking the court’s opinion on revisiting Bhutto’s murder trial, as well as seeking a revision of the death sentence awarded to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the former prime minister and Pakistan Peoples’ Party founder.
The court cut short the hearing in January this year, after it suspended the practicing licence of Senator Babar Awan, the government’s former counsel in the case over his criticism of the court’s order in the memo case, allegedly in a contemptuous manner.
President Zardari has now appointed Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan as his new counsel in this case.
The court had also appointed 10 amicus curiae on April 21. Some prominent lawyers, including SM Zafar and Aitzaz, were also among the 10 names, while some later disassociated themselves from the list.

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