PPP calls for over­haul of ju­di­cial sys­tem

The Miracle - - Pakistan -

IS­LAM­ABAD: Ex­pres­sing con­cern over a ‘bro­ken crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem’ and an in­or­di­nate de­lay in the Be­nazir Bhutto mur­der case, the Pak­istan Peo­ples Party (PPP) has called for an over­haul of the jus­tice sys­tem in­volv­ing cre­at­ing a sep­a­rate con­sti­tu­tional court in the coun­try be­sides the Supreme Court, pro­vi­sion of ap­peal against de­ci­sions in all suo motu cases and a re­view of the pro­ce­dure for ap­point­ment of su­pe­rior court judges. The de­mand was made by PPP Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Farhat­ul­lah Babar and for­mer at­tor­ney gen­eral for Pak­istan Latif Khosa at a news con­fer­ence at Zar­dari House here on Tues­day. Mr Khosa al­leged that the ju­di­ciary had dou­ble stan­dards in deal­ing ter­ror­ism­re­lated cases. On one hand, he said, the Supreme Court had stayed the Pe­shawar High Court’s or­der of re­leas­ing 76 peo­ple who had been con­victed by mil­i­tary courts on ter­ror­ism charges and on the other hand, the five ac­cused of the Be­nazir Bhutto mur­der case had been set free de­spite the fact that they had made “ju­di­cial con­fes­sional state­ments” be­fore a mag­is­trate. He claimed that two of these five ac­quit­ted per­sons had re­ceived the sui­cide bombers from a bus stand and kept them at a house in Rawalpindi and their in­volve­ment had been proved through the DNA tests of the bombers car­ried out by the Fed­eral Bu­reau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (FBI) of the US. In Septem­ber last year, an an­titer­ror­ism court (ATC) in Rawalpindi had ac­quit­ted five sus­pects al­legedly linked with the banned Tehreek-i-Tal­iban Pak­istan (TTP) for lack of ev­i­dence while an­nounc­ing its ver­dict in the Be­nazir Bhutto mur­der case. The ATC, how­ever, had con­victed two se­nior po­lice of­fi­cials Saud Aziz and Khur­ram She­hzad in the case for their fail­ure to pro­vide se­cu­rity to Ms Bhutto. The ATC judge had an­nounced the judge­ment dur­ing in-cam­era pro­ceed­ings at Adi­ala jail, declar­ing for­mer pres­i­dent re­tired Gen Pervez Mushar­raf a pro­claimed of­fender in the case and or­der­ing the at­tach­ment of his mov­able and im­mov­able prop­er­ties. The PPP leader said that for­mer pres­i­dent Asif Zar­dari had filed an ap­peal against the ATC’s ver­dict, which was still pend­ing. He said 11 years had passed since Ms Bhutto was as­sas­si­nated out­side Li­aquat Bagh in Rawalpindi, but the case was still un­re­solved. Mr Khosa, a lawyer by pro­fes­sion, crit­i­cised the au­thor­i­ties for not con­duct­ing a post-mortem on the slain leader. In re­sponse to al­le­ga­tions that her spouse had not al­lowed the au­thor­i­ties to con­duct au­topsy, he said no such per­mis­sion from le­gal heirs was re­quired. He said no one had the pow­ers to al­low or stop post­mortem in such cases. Source: Dawn.com

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