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Supreme Court Condemns Unfair Trial in Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Murder Case

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In a scathing critique of the trial and appellate process of the murder case involving former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the Supreme Court issued a detailed 48-page opinion, highlighting serious flaws in the judicial proceedings of the time. The apex court held that the trial and conviction of Mr. Bhutto were conducted without the constitutional protections of fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution, as the trial and appellate courts were not operating within a constitutional rule.

The larger bench of the apex court, led by CJP Qazi Faez Isa, expressed unequivocally that the former premier did not receive a fair trial in the murder case. The opinion asserted that the trial was conducted without Mr. Bhutto having the constitutional protection of the fundamental rights and other rights guaranteed in the constitution. It also pointed out that the trial and appellate courts, which conducted the trial and heard the appeal, were not true courts under the Constitution due to the country being captive to martial law.

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Furthermore, the court criticized the bias and irregularities surrounding the case, particularly highlighting the role of Justice Mushtaq Hussain and the evident bias in several paragraphs of the trial court judgment. The court noted that the former premier repeatedly claimed that Justice Mushtaq Hussain, who presided over the trial, was prejudiced against him and motivated by bias, but this objection was disregarded by the court.

The opinion emphasized the importance of impartiality and the need for justice to be not only done but also seen to be done. It pointed out that bias corrodes impartiality, which is necessary for correct decision-making and the acceptance of decisions. The detailed opinion concluded that the trial and conviction of Mr. Bhutto were marred by various transgressions and irregularities, destroying any semblance of due process and fair trial.

This critique by the Supreme Court sheds light on the deficiencies in the judicial process surrounding the case of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s murder and raises important questions about the protection of fundamental rights and the integrity of legal proceedings.

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