SC to hear review petition of Zardari, Bilawal, Faryal today
By Sohail Khan
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) will take up today (Tuesday) review petitions, filed by former president Asif Ali Zardari, his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, sister Faryal Talpur, and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah in the fake accounts case.
A three-member special bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Ijazul Ahsan will hear these review petitions at 1pm. The bench will also hear the review petitions filed by the owner of Omni Group Anwar Majeed as well as the Sindh government.
Last month, the former president and his sister Faryal Talpur had filed a review petition in the SC requesting it to recall its order passed on January 7 in the money laundering case saying the directions issued are prejudicial to them in any futuristic eventualities of a fair trial and due process will not be possible under Article 10 (A) of the Constitution.
Similarly, PPP Chairman Bilwal Bhutto Zardari while filing a review petition had questioned the verbal and written order passed by the former Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar in fake bank account and money laundering case pertaining to removal of his name as well as Sindh Chief Minister’s form the JIT report and Exit Control List (ECL).
He had prayed the court to review its written order which, in contrast to its verbal order earlier, does not mention removal of his name from the JIT report. He had submitted that on January 7, 2019, former Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar while heading a three-member bench of the apex court hearing the fake bank account and money laundering case had expressed serious displeasure against the JIT and the federal government and verbally directed and ordered them to expunge his name from the JIT report and delete his name form the ECL.
Bilawal Bhutto contended the direction made in open court, was widely reported in the media and no contradiction or clarification to the contrary was ever issued by anyone in respect of these facts. “Although the direction was given in open court in the presence of Attorney General and counsel for JIT as well as the DG FIA, his name was neither deleted from JIT report nor from the ECL (which was belatedly removed later on)”, Bilawal had contended. He however said that eventually when the written order was subsequently issued, the direction for expunging his name from the JIT report was also not part of the order.
He pleaded that paragraph 35 and 37 of the order contained observations and directions, not in consonance with the verbal directions and the commitment made on behalf of the JIT in the court for expunging his name form the JIT report.
Last year, the JIT formed by the Supreme Court had submitted its findings in the apex court, alleging that a close nexus had been found between a troika of Zardari Group, Bahria Town and Omni Group in the ‘fake accounts’ scam.
Asim Yasin adds: Zardari will not appear before the SC today in fake bank account case. According to sources, Zardari reached Islamabad on Monday evening and after his arrival he held a meeting with his legal team — Senator Farooq H Naek and Secretary General PPP Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari.
After legal consultation, it was decided that he will not appear before the SC. Sources said the legal team will represent him in the court.