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ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari prayed to the Supreme Court for the live broadcast of the proceeding of presidential reference, seeking to revisit the death sentence awarded to former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (ZAB).

Bilawal, on Monday, through advocate Farooq H Naek filed an application that the hearing of the case should be live/on air, so that the whole of Pakistan can hear it and this would be transparent for everyone.

A nine-member SC bench, headed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, and comprising Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, and Justice Musarrat Hilali will hear the reference today (Tuesday).

Nine-member SC bench to hear ‘judicial murder’ case

“The reference was filed by the then president of Pakistan namely Asif Ali Zardari, who is the father of the present applicant, hence, the applicant is the son of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and the grandson of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who was the founder of the Pakistan People’s Party and a great leader of unprecedented scale, caliber, and character,” said the application.

It stated that Bhutto was a “man who arose from the masses, he worked for them, he led them, gave his life for them and till this day live[s] in their hearts”.

The petition said that throughout his life, Bhutto wanted to uphold the rule of law. “His motto of ‘Roti, Kapra, and Makan’ was a testament to his yearning that every man gets his fair due. It was a loud cry echoing the chords of justice, that ‘Let Justice be done though the heavens may fall’,” it stated.

“This passion of the applicant’s grandfather, however, did not derail the irony that was to befall him. The spirit of justice that he so admired, was nowhere to be found when he himself was adorned with the noose of injustice.

“He was charged, convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, sentenced and executed on the testimony of an approver in the greatest miscarriage of justice that was ever to befall this country,” the plea said.

It added that Bhutto’s ideology remains intact to date and his sentence “is not just on the history of the family but a wretched stain on the entire judicial system of Pakistan and remains so till date”.

“It is in order to remove this stain and correct the wrong in history that the applicant has preferred the instant reference to bring on record the reality of the life of his grandfather, hence, the applicant wants that the hearing of this case, should be live/on Air, so that the whole Pakistan can hear it and this would be transparent for everyone,” the application said.

PPP government on April 02, 2011, had filed a reference in the apex court to reopen the case of former prime minister and founder of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who was hanged on April 4, 1979, in Rawalpindi.

In March 1978, a four-member bench of Lahore High Court had awarded the death sentence to Bhutto, which was later challenged in the Supreme Court, which upheld the LHC’s verdict.

This case was heard initially by a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on various dates. However, on 21.04.2011 the then CJP constituted 11-member SC bench for hearing of the reference.

The last hearing of the reference was held on 11th November 2012.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Ahmad Din Dec 12, 2023 09:45am
Cases of general litigants are pending in Supreme Court and High Courts of Pakistan for the last many years and still people are hopeless when they will get justice? At the same time it looks immature and nonsense another Pandora of ZA Bhutto case has been opened which will further result delay in hearing of general litigants. CJ is requested, please have mercy on the cases of live people and not dead....
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