Dogar, PCO judges took oath to save judicial system, SC told


ISLAMABAD – The lawyer for Justice (r) Abdul Hameed Dogar on Tuesday pleaded before the Supreme Court that his client had taken oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) of November 3, 2007 to save the judicial system in the country.
A four-member larger bench of Justice Mahmood Akhtar Shahid Siddiqui, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez was hearing contempt of court cases against the superior court judges who tool oath under the PCO in defiance of an SC restraining order of November 3, 2007.
The lawyer, Muhammad Ibrahim Satti, referred to a Supreme Court verdict of 2000 in the Syed Zafar Ali Shah case, saying his client and other judges who took oath under the PCO wanted to save the judicial system. Quoting a paragraph from the Zafar Ali Shah case verdict, Satti said, “En-bloc resignation means a complete chaos in the society”.
He said after the lifting of emergency on December 15, 2007, the constitution was restored and his client and other judges took fresh oaths under the constitution.
Justice Khawaja asked the lawyer to explain what was the need of issuance a new notification for appointments of PCO-judges before fresh oaths. Satti, however, said he would explain the matter after consultation.
He said the notification about appointments of Justice Nasirul Mulk and Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan was issued on the recommendations of then chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar. “Both the judges accepted him as the chief justice of Pakistan, as they took oaths from him, but on the other hand ,they were the judges who were signatory to a restraining order passed against proclamation of November 3 emergency,” he said.
Justice Khawaja said in the July 31, 2009, verdict, there was no mention of oaths but only a violation of the restraining order issued by the seven-judge bench.
Satti said in the Sindh High Court bar case, the Dogar-led court had persuaded Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf to shed his uniform and contest election as a civilian president. He said contempt notices could not be issued to fellow judges who were on equal footings with their peers.
He said a number of judges rendered unconditional apologies after the July 31, 2009, verdict, which were accepted by the court, but those who wanted to contest their cases were told that they had to face proceedings, which was not legitimate.
Justice Khawaja said it could be said of those judges who defied PCO steps, but not of a person who was pleading his case after his retirement. The proceedings were adjourned until today (Wednesday).