‘Pakistani judges who refused PCO a gone case’


Islamabad : Pakistani judges who had refused to take oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) “have ceased to hold their offices and wouldn’t come back”, a top official has said.

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“The judges who had refused the PCO were gone and would not come back,” Attorney General Malik Mohammad Qayyum was quoted as saying by Dawn Saturday.

“Their cases are past and a closed chapter.”

Besides, the Supreme Court while validating the Nov 3 proclamation of emergency, the official recalled, had also held that cases of these judges were “past and closed transaction”.

Qayyum, however, said a special law was being drafted and would be announced in a day or two by the government to provide retirement benefits to the deposed judges.

The benefits would include 80 percent of the salary of a judge as pension, 200 litres of petrol for his private cars, a driver, medical facilities, free utilities and a provision to set up a private office at his residence.

Through the imposition of emergency and promulgation of the PCO Nov 3, the then military ruler Pervez Musharraf had imposed curbs on the judges of the superior courts.

Many judges, including chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, were deposed after they refused to abide by the PCO.

Qayyum said the emergency will be lifted and constitution, with amendments, restored Dec 15.

“The Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) will be repealed and the constitution – with the amendments introduced by President Pervez Musharraf after proclamation of emergency on Nov 3 – will be revived,” he said.

Fundamental rights would be restored with the revival of the constitution, Qayyum said, adding a presidential order would be issued Dec 15 announcing the lifting of emergency and repeal of the PCO.

Pervez Musharraf had already announced the measures Nov 29 after he took oath as civilian president and promised in his address to the nation that the emergency would be lifted by Dec 16.