ISLAMABAD: Though accountability court reserved judgement for May 28, 2014 on an acquittal plea of Asif Ali Zardari regarding five corruption references, he is still on the court’s radar, reliable sources told The Nation on Friday.
Despite possibility of acquittal in five NAB corruption references, the former president and co-chairperson of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) would be on the court’s radar as two administrative inquiries initiated on the orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on complaints of alleged favourable decisions by the accountability judges in two separate cases are still pending against him.
The outcome of these two inquiries carried out by an inspection committee would likely change the outcome of the cases. The LHC had formulated an inspection committee to review the judgements of two accountability judges. In this context the NAB prosecutor opposed the acquittal plea of the former president in five corruption references pending against him in the accountability courts.
During the hearing of applications of Zardari for his acquittal in the corruption references on May 20, 2014, NAB Prosecutor Riaz Chaudhry submitted a letter of LHC before the accountability court which states that two administrative inquiries on decisions by different courts in corruption cases against Zardari are pending and requested for delaying the judgement till the LHC decides about the outcome of those inquiries. However, the counsel of Zardari opposed the move, terming it delaying tactics.
The accountability court Islamabad had reserved the judgement for May 28, 2014 in these references after completion of arguments from both sides. Legal experts are of the opinion that the court should not declare judgement till finalisation of the administrative inquires of LHC in the cases against Zardari.
An administrative inquiry in a court is tantamount to an intra-court appeal since the inquiry reviews the judgement.
The decisions under administrative inquiry in the LHC are the same ones on which counsel for Zardari sought his client’s acquittal from the accountability court. However, much depends on what the LHC decides in its inquiry against two accountability court judges after an LHC inspection team had endorsed some reports that had exposed unbelievable but scandalous aspects of these corruption cases.
In the cases of SGS and Cotecna, the two judges used similar words, expressions and even paragraphs to acquit all the influential co-accused.–Asif Bashir Chaudhry