CIVIL SOCIETY PAKISTAN

May 15, 2008

New offer for judges

Filed under: NEW GOVERNMENT AFTER MARCH 24-2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 2:25 am
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THE NATION

MAY 15, 2008

EDITORIAL


Thursday, May 15, 2008
Attempts to resolve the issue of the judges deposed on November 3 last year are continuing. In a new line of action, an offer to judges of the high courts, to take a fresh oath of office, has reportedly been made. The judges of all the provincial courts have, according to accounts in the press, been approached by some of the judges who indeed took oath under the PCO of November 3 and the suggestion made that a way to their reappointment could be found. It is believed government ministers and other key players in the judicial saga are behind this new formula.

At least eight judges of the Lahore High Court, who reportedly met on May 13, have after careful discussion rejected the offer. It is understood the response is no different in other provinces. The judges pointed out that they were seeking reinstatement rather than reappointment, and agreeing to any new oath would in fact be a tacit acceptance that the actions of November 3 were legitimate. Some of the judges have also voiced a reluctance to resume their role on benches in the absence of deposed chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. Even six months after their ouster, there appears to have been no change in the immensely principled stance of the judges who declined to take oath under the PCO. This is all the more commendable given that a number of the high court judges have many years of service to complete.

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