Zulfikar Ali Bhutto did not get a fair trial, SC rules

  • Says apex court cannot reappraise the evidence and undo the decision of the case
Published March 6, 2024

The Supreme Court (SC) said on Wednesday that founder of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was not given a fair trial.

A nine-member SC bench, headed by the Chief Justice, 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, heard the presidential reference seeking to revisit the death sentence to the PPP leader.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari says Supreme Court ruling historic

In its verdict, the bench said, “In its advisory jurisdiction under Article 186 of the Constitution, this court cannot reappraise the evidence and undo the decision of the case.

“However, in detailed reasons we shall identify the major constitutional and legal lapses that occurred with regard to the fair trial and due process.”

The SC had reserved on Monday its verdict on the reference.

In a post on X, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the SC’s opinion came “44 years after judicial murder and more than 12 years after [the] presidential reference was filed”.

“The pursuit of justice was a labour of love by President Asif Ali Zardari in the name of his wife Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.

“Our family waited 3 generations to hear these words.”


The PPP government on April 2, 2011, had filed a reference in the apex court to reopen the case of former prime minister and founder of the party Zulfikar Bhutto, who was hanged on April 4, 1979, in Rawalpindi.

Asif Ali Zardari forwarded the reference to the SC under clause 1 and 2 of Article 186 of the Constitution for revisiting the case.

Babar Awan had argued the reference on behalf of the PPP government.

Then in 2018, Bilawal Bhutto had filed an application to implead party in the presidential reference, but it was not fixed in the last five years.


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KU Mar 06, 2024 12:34pm
He wasn't the only one, there were others too and even current living citizens, who face injustice in courts. It may be boring, but the CJ must also look into injustice and suffering of common people.
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Doc Asad Mar 06, 2024 01:21pm
So does million of other ordinary Pakistanis since the our independence.
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Arif Mar 06, 2024 01:57pm
Rome was burning and Nero was playing
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Hello Mar 06, 2024 03:20pm
It's only to make a political point but today imrN khan also facing unfair decisions
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Salim Mar 06, 2024 06:31pm
@Hello, that will be admitted in 2048.
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Az_Iz Mar 06, 2024 06:54pm
A tragedy that should not have happened.
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Az_Iz Mar 06, 2024 06:57pm
ZAB played a significant role in bolstering the security of the country. The country is grateful to him.
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