Govt vows to denotify PCO judges by Aug 9

SC adjourned case after being repeatedly assured by Babar Awan that court orders will be complied by this date.

Qaiser Zulfiqar August 06, 2011


The government on Friday again reassured the Supreme Court that it will de-notify by August 9 the seven judges who took oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO), promulgated by former president Pervez Musharraf in 2007.

A five-member special bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was hearing a case pertaining to the non-implementation of its May 18 verdict in the PCO judges’ case.

In the decision, the Supreme Court had declared the seven high court judges, who had taken oaths under the PCO, were never validated as judges and directed the secretary law to issue a notification in this regard.

After the court’s decision, the government had assured the court that it would implement its decision, but the judges were never de-notified.

On Friday, the chief justice asked the attorney-general and Babar Awan, who represented the federation, to explain why the court’s order was not implemented. “Why is the secretary law not implementing the court’s order?” the chief justice asked Awan.

Submitting that on July 19, a summary had been sent to the prime minister in this regard, Awan said: “A notification will be issued as soon as the competent authority approves the summary.”

“When the court passes an order, its implementation is binding…it does not require any summary,” the chief justice said, directing the federation to issue a notification. “Go and issue the notification right now,” the chief justice observed.

Awan, however, told the court that the prime minister was not in Islamabad and requested two more days for the notification.

Blaming the acting law secretary for the delay, the chief justice asked Secretary Law Masood Chishti: “Why are you not issuing the notification?...Go and issue the notification right now in line with the May 18 judgment.”

Babar Awan again intervened on behalf of the secretary law and told the court that he wanted to submit an undertaking on behalf of the secretary.

“Allow me please to submit a statement on behalf of the secretary law, assuring your lordship that in pursuance of the court’s May 18 order, the government will issue a notification by or before August 9, de-notifying the PCO judges,” Awan requested the court.

“No, the secretary law should give an undertaking that the notification will be issued today (Aug 5),” the chief justice told Awan.

Later, the court adjourned the hearing after repeatedly being assured by Babar Awan, who promised to implement the court’s order by August 9.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2011.