=> HYDERABAD, Feb 9: A deposed judge of Supreme Court -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

=> HYDERABAD, Feb 9: A deposed judge of Supreme Court

HYDERABAD, Feb 9: A deposed judge of Supreme Court Ghulam Rabbani has said that he believes the Provisional Constitution Order enforced on Nov 3 had been media and judiciary specific.

Talking to Dawn after addressing annual dinner of the Hyderabad chapter of the High Court Bar Association (HCBA) late on Friday night Mr rabbani said that the government targeted them because it had unjustifiable fears they were working acting against it.

He said that people should be asked to testify whether deposed judges were delivering them justice or not. People knew they were delivering justice until the promulgation of PCO and that was the reason they wanted them restored to pre-Nov 3 position.“There is a world of difference between Nov 3 PCO and those of other dictators as no ruler never targeted judiciary or media in such a manner. I believe that Nov 3 PCO was media and judiciary specific,” said Mr Rabbani, who hails from Hyderabad.

He was recently made ad hoc judge of Supreme Court before he was deposed. Former dictators had also resorted to unconstitutional steps but never singled out and targeted judiciary or media.

Under the PCOs enforced earlier, the other institutions would stop functioning “but under this PCO the parliament continued to work but it dealt a severe blow to media and judiciary alone,” he said.

He said that in reality the “bastions of powers” never liked an independent, vibrant and honest judiciary. The government had an unjustified fear that the judiciary was working against it. “I can swear that I had been working in accordance with constitution and law ever since I was appointed judge,” he said.

He said that the procedure for bringing a judge to trial was laid down in Article 209 of the constitution. “I am still judge and I am ready to face any kind of explanation if I have done anything unconstitutional,” he said.

He said that if future parliament enacted a law about sacked judges they would be reinstated.

Without naming Musharraf, he referred to his reported statement that he had to take illegal step of Nov 3 emergency and PCO. He said that in view of such statement the judges stood vindicated.

Mr Rabbani said earlier that legally and constitutionally Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry was still chief justice of the country and rejected government claims that he was not under house arrest. He said that he was virtually arrested and kept in his house.

Source: Dawn
Date:2/9/2008