On Tuesday, Law Minister Farooq H Naek submitted the draft of the letter, to be sent to Geneva for reopening money laundering case against President Asif Ali Zardari, before a bench being led by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa.
The bench pointed out to the law minister that certain aspects of the draft does not meet the requirements of the Para 178 of the NRO judgment. The law minister then sought the adjournment of the hearing until Wednesday to remove the deficiencies.
Division was observed among the judges on Wednesday when the law minister, submitting the revised draft letter, requested the judges for seeing him in the chambers. The request was first denied but later accepted.
Naek said: “The matter is pretty sensitive and there are practical difficulties to discuss the issue in the open court.” He said substantive discussion took place yesterday (Tuesday) in the chambers to resolve the matter. “We want to resolve the matter in a manner that is good for the country, democracy and the majesty of the court.”
Agreeing with the law minister that there were certain matters which the government can’t discuss in the open court, Justice Khosa became ready to hear the law minister in the chambers. But Justice Ejaz Afzal intervened by saying that yesterday (Tuesday) they had no option but to grant audience in the chambers. He said there was nothing in the letter that can’t be discussed in the court.
The law minister said that some additions have been made in the draft, adding that they wanted to comply with the Para 178. He said that the government has a resolve to solve the matter in a way that there is a win-win situation for both the court and the executive.
Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked the court does not work for a win-win situation. He asked the law minister to show any precedent where the court, instead of following law, indulged in patch-up, quid pro quo or give and take in the affairs of justice. He said that the difficulties can be discussed in the open court.
On this, Justice Khosa said that till date no judge has mentioned midway for the solution of the matter. He said that they have always stated that the matter can be resolved. Addressing to the law minister, he said: “Yesterday (Tuesday) you had sought time till today (Wednesday). But today (Wednesday) you are saying that the matter could not be discussed in the open court.”
Justice Khosa, before retiring, said they would discuss his request in the chambers and if there would be a need, they would call him. After about 40 minutes the judges called the law minister to the chambers. Farooq Naek met with the judges in the chambers along with Senator Waseem Sajjad.
After hearing the matter in the chambers when the bench reassembled in the court at 12pm, the minister again requested for time to redraft the letter. He assured the court that draft letter shall be further improved to fully comply with the Para 178 of the judgment.
Accepting the request of minister, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa remarked: “No further adjournment will be granted to cause the delay in the matter... Any further delay may impinge upon bona fide of the federal government prompting us to proceed in the matter of Contempt of Court case forthwith.” The court then, at the request of Farooq Naek, adjourned the hearing till October 5.
Later, Law Minister Farooq called on Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf at Prime Minister’s House and briefed him on proceedings in the Supreme Court.
The Prime Minister said that he has full confidence in the judiciary. “I respect courts and am committed to uphold the majesty of courts and the rule of law”, he maintained.
Reiterating his commitment to resolve the issue, the Prime Minister expressed the confidence that NRO implementation case will be resolved in accordance with the Constitution, law and judgment of the Supreme Court.
Raja said that all the institutions should play their role within the ambit and purview prescribed by the Constitution.