SC seeks government’s stance on status of PCO judges | Pakistan Today

SC seeks government’s stance on status of PCO judges

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court on Monday directed the attorney general to submit by April 4 a written statement on behalf of the federal government on the constitutional status of a number of former judges of the superior courts who took oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) in violation of a November 3, 2007 restraining order. A seven-member special bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Javed Iqbal, Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany and Justice Amir Hani Muslim, was hearing intra-court appeals by PCO judges against the SC’s February 2 verdict, in which it decided to frame contempt charge against the judges.
Raza Kazim, lawyer for dysfunctional judge Justice Hamid Ali Shah, told the court that he was unable to tender sincere apology before the court on behalf of his client. However, he said he had no doubt over the court’s dignity and wanted to present his formulations in the case. He said if he was proved wrong, he would not hesitate tendering an apology. He requested the court to ask the attorney general about the legal status of PCO judges.
The chief justice observed that the court had already declared the steps taken on Novmber 3, 2007 unconstitutional.
“There is no more room for adventurism or ultra-constitutional steps. It was the sole case in country’s history in which the superior judiciary stood against ultra-constitutional steps and also did not validate them,” he noted. He said they (judges) took oath to protect the constitution and if they compromised over the issue of PCO judges, it would be tantamount to not protecting the constitution. The chief justice said anybody who resorted to break the constitution could acted against under Article 6. Earlier Dr Abdul Basit, lawyer for dysfunctional judges Justice Shabbar Raza Rizvi and Justice Hasnaat Ahmed Khan sought adjournment, submitting that since Dr Khalid Ranjha, lawyer for Justice (r) Iftikhar Hussain Chaudhry could not appear as he was undergoing a surgery, the case may be adjourned for some time, which the court accepted and adjourned further proceedings until April 4.

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