The Supreme Court has summoned Attorney General of Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq and Secretary Law, Masud Chishti on Friday to explain the delay in the implementation of its verdict in the PCO judges case.
On July 26, the government had assured Justice Amir Hani Muslim that it would implement the verdict in letter and spirit and de-notify PCO judges. The chief justice has taken notice of the non-implementation of the May 18 verdict and fixed the hearing on Friday.
Justice Muslim had forwarded the case to Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary for further action.
On May 18, a six-member larger bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, had directed the government to issue a notification under its previous order declaring a set of appeals filed by former judges who served after Pervez Musharraf’s proclamation of emergency of November 3, 2007 and making whole of superior judiciary dysfunctional.
The 67-page detailed judgment, authored by the chief justice himself, ruled that the appellants ceased to hold their offices after the apex court declared the PCO and the Oath Order of 2007 unconstitutional in the Sindh High Court Bar Association’s case and subsequently invalidated by the 18th and 19th amendments.
The Court had also directed the federal law secretary to issue notifications regarding the removal of these judges because they were no more entitled to hold their offices after April 20 last year, the day the 18th Constitutional Amendment was passed.
The court directed the government to issue the necessary notifications. The court had ruled that the dysfunctional judges shall be entitled to service and pension benefits up to April 20, 2010 the day the 18th amendment was passed. However, if ultimately they are found to be guilty of contempt of court, their cases for the recovery of benefits in future shall be dealt with accordingly.
The court maintained that the judges of the superior courts who refused to ratify the proclamation of emergency were sacked and only those judges who agreed to take oath under the PCO were allowed to continue in office. These judges constituted a bench, which in view of the alleged amendment in the Constitution made by Musharraf, declared him as the President of Pakistan. Some judges later realised they had not honoured the November 3 order of the Supreme Court and tendered their resignations. Interestingly, all judges of the Balochistan High Court had volunteered to quit after the judgment.
Seven judges have been facing contempt of court proceedings after they decided to challenge apex Court’s verdict on the issue.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2011.