ISLAMABAD - The government will defend National Reconciliation Ordinance in the Supreme Court and take stance that the relief granted under NRO in various cases is protected by Article 264 of the Constitution. A senior official of the Law Ministry on Saturday confided to TheNation while seeking anonymity. According to the source, the government will contend that relief granted under the NRO is a past and closed transaction that cant be reversed. The source said Article 264 of the Constitution protected those acquitted under NRO, exactly what the Attorney General of Pakistan Sardar Latif Khosa said on Tuesday last while talking to journalists in the Supreme Courts premises. But here are three different fates awaiting the most controversial ordinance; the Parliament may repeal the Ordinance or it may die its own death after lapse of the four-month constitutional span of life or the Supreme Court may strike it down ab initio. Legal experts opine that in first two cases, Article 264 of the Constitution is applicable and it protects the beneficiaries of the NRO. However, if the Supreme Court strikes down the Ordinance ab initio, the whole edifice erected on the law will at once come down to the ground. The experts said that striking some piece of law down ab initio meant the law never existed while Article 264 of the Constitution protected only those privileges and obligations provided under a law, which later was repealed. Here is what the Article exactly reads: Where a law is repealed or is deemed to have been repealed, by, under, or by virtue of the Constitution, the repeal shall not, except as otherwise provided in the constitution: (a) Revive anything not in force or existing at the time, at which the repeal takes effect. (b) Affect the previous operation of the law or anything duly done or suffered under the law. (c) Affect any right, privilege, obligation or liability acquired, accrued or incurred under the law. (d) Affect any penalty, forfeiture or punishment incurred in respect of any offence committed against the law; or (e) Affect any investigation legal proceeding or remedy in respect of any such right, privilege, obligation, liability, penalty, forfeiture or punishment, And any such investigation, legal proceeding or remedy may be instituted, continued or enforced, and any such penalty, forfeiture or punishment may be imposed, as if the law had not been repealed. It is clear from the article if the NRO is struck down ab initio by the Supreme Court, it would mean the law never existed and never benefited anyone. On Wednesday, the Chief Justice dismissed petition of a former FIA official booked under corruption charges by the National Accountability Bureau. The petitioner was praying for relief under the NRO but the Chief Justice observed that the court was yet to determine the constitutionality of the Ordinance and that cases in which relief was granted or prayed for under the same would be heard later at a time. However, apart from the above discussion, Deputy Attorney General Shah Khawar, when contacted, observed that the Supreme Court was not in a mood to enter into a confrontation with the government, adding he was of the view that the court would allow governments stance that the relief granted under the NRO was permanent and protected under the above quoted Article of the Constitution. When asked whether the court will disallow the constitutional petitions pending against the constitutionality of the NRO once when the Ordinance is repealed or expired, SC Registrar Dr Faqir Hussain said the point was important, adding he did not know what the law said and what was the mood of the judges. I would only be able to comment after going through the matter, the Registrar said, adding that too would be off the record. However, when Deputy Attorney General Shah Khawar was asked the same question, he said he expected the court would disallow the petitions on the ground that the law in question existed no more.