ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday summoned the asset details of former President Asif Ali Zardari and his children within 15 days.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard Zardari’s review petition against the Supreme Court verdict summoning details of his assets in relation to the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case.
On August 29, the apex court had summoned details of the former president’s assets from the past 10 years while hearing a petition related to the NRO, which was passed by Musharraf in 2007.
As the hearing went under way, the court directed, “Zardari should submit details of inherited assets.”
To this, the former president’s counsel, Farooq Naik, said, “You can have details for the last five years but please don’t ask for details of the last 10 years. The law only holds for five years.”
However, the court refused Naik’s request and upheld that asset details should be provided for the last 10 years.
Naik then requested, “Asset details of autonomous children should not be summoned either.”
The chief justice in response said, “Now, all children are autonomous and mature. But daughters are under guardianship till marriage.”
The former president’s counsel then told the court, “Zardari was co-accused in eight cases.”
Further, Justice Ijazul Ahsan questioned Naik, “Did you destroy all records yourself?” To this, the former president’s counsel stated, “I indicated towards the presence of the record. An affidavit was summoned from Zardari under Article 184(3).”
Responding to Naik, the chief justice said, “Public money is for the people’s welfare which is why we used Article184 (3). This is not a corruption issue; we are just increasing our ambit.”
The court then summoned the asset details of Zardari and his children within 15 days.
Nominating Musharraf, Zardari and Qayyum as respondents, petitioner Feroz Shah Gilani had requested the court in April to order recovery of ‘huge amounts of public money’ misappropriated and wasted by them through unlawful means ‘already on record in different judgments of the Supreme Court and high court’.
He had contended that Musharraf subverted the Constitution by declaring emergency followed by the promulgation of the NRO, through which criminal and corruption cases against politicians, including Zardari, were “arbitrarily withdrawn”.—NNI