PCO judges case: Surrendering, PCO judge tenders apology

Published: January 26, 2011

Judges were pressurised to take oath, claims the defendants’ counsel.

ISLAMABAD: A PCO Justice of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Sajjad Hussain Shah tendered an unconditional apology in the Supreme Court on Tuesday for taking oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) on November 3, 2007.

Sheikh Zameer, counsel for Justice Sajjad Hussain Shah, submitted the apology to the bench and said his client regretted the deed.

Dr Khalid Ranjha, counsel for former LHC chief justice, Chaudhry Iftikhar Hussain contended that his client accepted the November 3 verdict. When he took oath under the PCO, he had not received a copy of the decision, the counsel added.

A four-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice MA Shahid Siddiqui and comprising Justice Jawad S Khawaja, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Pervez is conducting the proceedings of the cases against PCO judges.

Justice Shabbar Raza Rizvi has requested the court to issue contempt of court notices to former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf and Corps Commanders stationed at the time for violating the verdict of the seven-member bench of the Supreme Court against the imposition of emergency on November 3 in a second application. Dr Abdul Basit, counsel for Justices Shabbar Raza Rizvi and Hasnat Ahmad Khan, resumed his arguments before the bench today.

Talking to the media outside the Supreme Court, Dr Basit said his client has raised the question, ‘Is the country being governed by the armed forces or the people,’ in his application.

“The restraining order of November 3 was not just for judges,” he said. “The Army was also directed not to support a usurper. Generals are equally guilty of defying court orders. He said the judges were pressurized to take oath under the PCO; they did not voluntarily offer their services.”

The counsel said that the entire world is following the proceedings and the general impression is that the court has not issued notices to all the offenders including army officers who violated the November 3 verdict. The Supreme Court should not fear the army, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 26th, 2011.

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