Supreme Court gives final deadline to the government in Swiss letter case

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 1:25:17 by

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that it would be compelled to resume with contempt of court proceedings if the government didn’t comply with its verdict of writing the letter to Swiss authorities by October 5.

A five-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa resumed hearing of the implementation of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case.

During the hearing, Justice Khosa told the Federal Law Minister Farooq H. Naek that the court had asked for the Swiss letter draft, submitted in the court a day earlier, to be revised adding that he hoped that those revisions had been made.

He also submitted Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf’s authority letter delegating the law minister to draft the letter and a revised draft of the letter to the court.

Naek resubmitted the draft of the letter to be written to Swiss authorities to court, requesting it for discussing the draft in the court’s chambers. To this, the court showed agreement to discuss the draft of the letter in the chambers.

Federal Law Minister Farooq H. Naek and senior lawyer Waseem Sajjad were summoned into the judges’ chambers.

The bench raised objections to the revised draft of the letter submitted in the court for not mentioning the restoration of alleged graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

The court adjourned the next hearing until Oct 5 after the law minister made a request to the court to adjourn the hearing, adding that the issue would be resolved by then.

In the previous hearing, the Supreme Court raised few objections over the draft of the letter to be written to the Swiss authorities.

The law minister in consultation with government’s counsel Waseem Sajjad and Attorney General Irfan Qadir made changes in the letter.

While speaking to the media after the hearing was adjourned, Naek said that since he was not the final authority on the matter, he needed to consult with Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and that was why he had requested the court for more time.

He observed, “They were very gracious and kind, and they gave me time till October 5 for any consultation that I need to do, for any advice I need to take and then, complete the letter and bring it so that this matter can end.”

The letter saga began when the Supreme Court struck down the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), under which a number of cases against political figures were dropped – including the Swiss cases against President Zardari and his family.

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