SC panel to decide on live telecast of ZA Bhutto reference

In this respect, the committee will furnish its report to the chief justice of Pakistan on December 11

December 09, 2023
The front view of the Supreme Court building in Islamabad. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has constituted a two-member committee to decide on the live telecast of a presidential reference filed some 11 years back concerning the murder case of former prime minister ZA Bhutto.

The committee — comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar — will decide whether the proceedings should be telecast live or not and whether the recording should be issued or not after the conclusion of the reference.

In this respect, the committee will furnish its report to the chief justice of Pakistan on December 11.

It is pertinent to mention that a nine-member larger bench of the Supreme Court — headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Qazi Faez Isa — will take up the reference on December 12.

The other members of the larger bench include Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Aminud Din Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Musarrat Hilali.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had filed an application with the Supreme Court pleading to become a party to the presidential reference.

He had submitted that his grandfather Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was brutally executed in consequence of a stroke of a pen adding that his life could not be brought back by a similar stroke but his dignity and valor could be restored and reflected correctly to some extent in the books of precedent and legal history of the country.

Bilawal further stated that in the United Kingdom the famous case of R verses Mattan was a testament of the fact that miscarriage of justice should be rectified even posthumously. He stated that in that particular case, the family of the wrongly executed person was granted a massive monetary compensation.

However, the PPP chairman submitted that he did not claim any monetary compensation but for him it lay in correcting the history.

Bilawal felt that if the miscarriage of justice was rectified and due care and diligence was exercised while dispensing justice then his purpose would be served and a victory would be achieved not only for himself but also for the people, democracy, and the judicial system.