PM de-notifies five high court judges
By: Amir Wasim
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani approved on Sunday de-notification of five judges of Lahore and Sindh high courts who had taken oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO).
An official handout said the prime minister had approved de-notification of Justice Syed Shabbar Raza Rizvi, Justice Syed Hamid Ali Shah, Justice Hasnat Ahmad Khan and Justice Syed Sajjad Hussain Shah of the Lahore High Court and Justice Yasmeen Abbasey of the Sindh High Court.
“The above judges will be entitled for the service and pension benefits up to April 20, 2010, when 18th Constitution Amendment was passed,” says the handout issued just before the prime minister left for Saudi Arabia on a two-day visit.
The prime minister took the step 48 hours before the expiry of the second deadline of August 9 set by the Supreme Court for implementing its May 18 verdict which declared the judges who had taken oath under the PCO after the imposition of Emergency by Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf in November 2007 unconstitutional in the light of the 18th Amendment.
The handout quoted the prime minister as saying that he attached great importance to the independence of judiciary. “The designs of certain elements to pit institutions against each other will be foiled,” the prime minister said.
The five-member Supreme Court bench warned on Aug 5 that it would not let anyone erode its authority and gave the government four days to de-notify the PCO judges.
In its original verdict the Supreme Court had held that these dysfunctional judges had ceased to hold the office of the judges of respective high courts after the adoption of the 18th and 19th Constitution Amendments, saying the PCO 2007 read with Oath
of (Judges) Order 2007 had already been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court through the July 31, 2009 Sindh High Court Bar Association’s case. Thus no immunity was available to them, the verdict said.