Former chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar finally surrendered before the chief justice and asked for pardon for taking oath under the PCO promulgated by former president Pervez Musharraf on November 3, 2007.
A dysfunctional judge of the apex court, Justice Syed Zahid Hussain also tendered an unconditional apology along with an application for pre-mature retirement which has been approved by President Zardari. The court accepted both apologies and terminated contempt of court proceedings against them.
Justice Dogar and Justice Zahid Hussain regretted violating the restraining order which barred judges from taking oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order which was annulled by a seven-member bench of the Supreme Court after the proclamation of the emergency in 2007.
A seven-member special bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary, was hearing intra-court appeals filed by the PCO judges against the short order of the four-member bench announced on February 2.
The Chief Justice appreciated the judges for owning up to the faux-pas. “The Supreme Court resisted martial law for the first time in history on November 3, because of which there is rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution in the country,” he remarked. “We are here to uphold the dignity of the institution.”
Justice Dogar had taken oath under the PCO in 2007 after former military ruler, General (retd) Pervez Musharraf dismissed judges of the superior courts while imposing emergency in the country.
Attorney General of Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq along with the counsels of both judges, Ibrahim Satti and SM Zafar, submitted the apologies.
Dr Basit, counsel for Justice Shabbar Raza Rizvi and Justice Hasnat Ahmad Khan requested the bench to postpone the proceedings of the four-member bench for framing charges against PCO judges scheduled for March 7.
The court ordered all PCO judges to submit a common application and on their counsels’ request, adjourned the hearing till March 21. The counsel of six other PCO judges asked for two weeks’ time.
Renowned lawyer, Aitzaz Ahsan appreciated Justice (Retd) Abdul Hameed Dogar for taking the initiative. Talking to media persons at the Supreme Court, Ahsan said that Justice Dogar finally realised his mistake and tendered an unconditional apology.
He strongly condemned the murder of the federal minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti and said it was a question mark for the whole nation.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2011.