SC sets aside registrar’s objections on Zardari’s plea seeking transfer of cases to Karachi

Orders registrar to fix main application for hearing before a bench within two weeks

Statesman Report

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) set aside on Tuesday the Registrar Office’s objections on former president Asif Zardari's application seeking transfer of corruption cases against him from Islamabad’s accountability court to Karachi.

The order was given by SC's Justice Umar Ata Bandial while hearing the plea in his chamber.

Zardari’s counsel, Farooq H Naek appeared on behalf of the former president. After hearing his arguments, the SC judge allowed the appeal and ordered the Registrar’s Office to fix the main application before a bench within two weeks.

Earlier, on November 3, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman had approached the apex court and requested to transfer the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) Toshakhana – gift repository – reference from Islamabad’s Accountability Court No III to a court in Karachi in view of his ill health.

The apex court, while hearing a suo motu case related to fake accounts, had ordered to conduct a trial of the accused persons in Islamabad. The court had rejected review petitions against its order.

The Registrar Officer had earlier declared the civil miscellaneous appeal (CMA) as “not entertainable” and returned the CMA along with the paper books.

According to the SC office, the application was not entertainable as NAB – the prosecution in the case – filed the reference in view of an order of the Supreme Court.

It said the top court had already rejected Zardari’s previous application to transfer the graft cases to Karachi courts. It said the SC rules forbid refilling a review application.

The PPP leader challenged the SC office’s order on November 10, claiming it was not sustainable in law and case law, as enunciated by the Supreme Court.

The appeal said it is the constitutional right of the appellant to knock the door of the top court, but the SC's Registrar Office order shows that the rights of the appellant have been blocked at the institutional level, which is not a practice of the court. ���