Islamabad: Honourable Chief of Pakistan has been pleased to constitute an eleven member larger Bench and fixed 12th December, 2011 as the date for hearing of the Presidential Reference No. 1 of 2011. (Reference by the President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan under Article 186 of the Constitution to revisit the case of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto reported as PLD 1979 SC page 38-53).
This case was earlier fixed before the Court on various dates during April to June 2011. On 21.04.2011, the learned Bench of three Honourable Judges presided over by the HCJ directed to constitute a larger Bench and accordingly a larger Bench was constituted.
On the last date of hearing i.e. 29.06.2011 the matter was adjourned by the larger Bench with the observation that subject to availability of the Bench, the case shall be fixed.
On 21.04.2011 the Court was pleased to appoint amicus curiae in the following terms:-
“… In view of the Importance of the Presidential Reference, senior advocates/jurists, M/s Ali Ahmed Kurd, Tariq Mehmood, Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, Khalid Anwar, Makhdoom Ali Khan, S. M. Zafar, Aitzaz Ahsan, Zahoorul Haq and Abdul Latif Afridi are hereby appointed as amicus curiae….”
Mr. Khalid Anwar, Sr. ASC expressed his inability to assist this court as amicus curiae by sending a written request which was accepted by the court vide order dated 02.05.2011 and in his place Qazi Muhammad Ashraf, Sr. ASC was appointed as amicus curiae.
During the course of hearing on 29.06.2011, the Attorney General for Pakistan requested more time to prepare further arguments particularly with reference to each question referred by the President of Pakistan. Moreover, summer vacations of the court commenced w.e.f. 15.06.2011 to 12.09.2011 during which the Honourable Judges performed their duties at Branch Registries and some of them remained in professional commitments outside the country in attending briefings and conferences.
Furthermore, Mr. Babar Awan, Mr. Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, Mr. Fakharudin G. Ebrahim, Mr. Makhdoom Ali Khan, Mr. S.M. Zafar, Ms. Asma Jehangir, Ch. Aitzaz Ahsan, and Khawaja Muhammad Haris, Advocate General Punjab appearing in the Presidential Reference were also on general adjournments. During this period, a larger Bench of the apex Court also heard the important Karachi violence case.
It is also informed that out of the previous 11 Members Bench, three Honourable Judges namely Honourable Mr. Justice Javed Iqbal, Mr. Justice Mahmood Akhtar Shahid Siddiqui and Mr. Justice Ghulam Rabbani have now been retired and Honourable Mr. Justice Sair Ali is going to retire w.e.f.11.12.2011.
A full Court reference has also been scheduled to be held in the honour of the retiring judge on December 9th 2011. Therefore, the Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan has constituted the following eleven member larger Bench for hearing of the Reference and re-fixed the case on 12.12.2011:-
1. Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, HCJ
2. Mr. Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan
3. Mr. Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani
4. Mr. Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk
5. Mr. Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja
6. Mr. Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali
7. Mr. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain
8. Mr. Justice Tariq Parvez
9. Mr. Justice Mian Saqib Nisar
10. Mr. Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany
11. Mr. Justice Amir Hani Muslim
Learned counsel for the parties as well as learned amicus curiae are being requested to ensure their presence for the case as it is likely to proceed on day to day basis w.e.f. 12th December to 16th December, 2011 as the Court will break for winter vacations w.e.f. 19th December to 31st December 2011. Notice to all concerned including incumbent President, Supreme Court Bar Association have been issued.
For more information, contact:
Shahid Hussain Kamboyo
Public Relations Officer
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4184
Fax: +9251 920 1001