ISLAMABAD Parliamentarians and public officeholders who benefited from controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) should resign as they have breached the trust of the nation in total disregard of Article 62 and 63, specifically clause (1) and sub-clause (P) of the latter, of the Constitution, argued Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, counsel for Dr Mubbashar Hassan, a party in NRO case. Article 63 with its sub-clause (P) of 1973 Constitution disqualify a person, who has been convicted by a court, to contest election or hold any public office. In this sense, Speaker National Assembly and Chairman Senate can send references against the parliamentarians, who benefited from the notorious ordinance, to Election Commission of Pakistan, he explained. A writ can be filed in the apex court under Article 184 (3) as well as in High Courts under Article 199 of the Constitution against the parliamentarian and office bearers, he added. Majority of parliamentarians resign in UK, USA and other developed countries whenever corruption charges levelled against them, the noted lawyer quoted. Hafeez Pirzada was arguing before a 17-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry who heard NRO-related petitions that sought that NRO of 2007 should be declared void ab initio on the touchstone of Article 2-A, 4, 5, 8, 9, 25 and 175 of the 1973 Constitution. He argued that NRO was needed in 1971 when nation had to decide how to unite the people on a single platform, but in normal situation it aggravated the Constitution of state. He said petitions challenge the NRO on the grounds that it violates the fundamental rights of the people, especially Article 25 (equality of citizens), and is against political justice. He will continue his arguments before the court. During Mondays proceedings, the apex court restored the plea of Tariq Asad Advocate against NRO. Chief Justice observed, The accused were declared innocent so that they could contest elections but dropping cases didnt mean they were pardoned completely. NRO was manipulated to benefit the accused and beneficiaries were given a clear-chit and dropping cases against them didnt mean complete pardon, he added. Additional Prosecutor General NAB, Abdul Baseer Qureshi, submitted the list of beneficiaries that consisted 248 names. He prayed the court the remaining list with regard to people who are allegedly kept their assets abroad would be submitted before the court on Wednesday (today). Embezzlement of trillion of rupees in national exchequer since a decade by a few politicians and bureaucrats, who saved their skins through NRO, has been detected through the list of beneficiaries presented by the NAB before the court, the presented list said. The sitting President Asif Ali Zardari is on top of the list as he owned assets in foreign countries which stand at $1.5 billion, including houses and bank accounts in Spain, France, the US and Britain; while his assets in the country stand at $22 million. Acting Attorney General Shah Khawar presented the parliamentary record comprising National Assembly debate and the speeches of the Prime Minister in connection with NRO on the directives of the court. The NA committee approved the NRO, however concerned minister took it back from the Parliament, he explained. In the meantime, Baseer Qureshi gave remarks in the apex court that he would present unchallengeable and endorsed list of NRO-benefited people undersigned by NAB Chairman. Besides, Salman Akram Raja, counsel for Dr Mubashar Hassan, while concluding his arguments on 2nd day, said NRO was brought forward to usurp the judicial powers, pleading the court to hold the Ordinance null and void from day one. At this point the court interrogated whether the situation would move to the position of October 4, 2007, if the same was decreed. Salman replied, Yes, it will happen accordingly. We will have to see that NRO Section-7 conforms to the constitutional requirements or not, the CJ said. He further said the apex court could monitor all courts including the NAB. What would be the consequences if the apex court termed NRO void ab initio in light of arguments, Chief Justice asked the lawyers during proceedings. Justice Ramday said if somebodys son was killed, the rights of his family were quashed with the NRO, adding the SC is the protector of peoples rights. The court in its remarks termed the Ordinance a 'washing machine to wash off legal allegations and 'injustice to the bereaved families of the killed. Besides, Advocate General Sindh, Yousuf Khan Leghari told the court that some 8,000 cases were dropped in Sindh out of which 3,000 were murder cases. While other three provinces will submit their detailed lists of NRO beneficiaries on the directions of their home secretaries today (Wednesday). Earlier, the apex court on Monday termed NRO as a law paving way for reconciliation with corruption. NRO as a law that protected looters, plunderers, robbers, dacoits, black sheep, corrupt, murderers and dishonest persons in the state where over 70 percent people were poor. It termed most of the said Ordinances sanctions non-Islamic, explaining that murder and rape convicts can never be exonerated under any law.