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Let the original judges return

By Naeem Sadiq, Published in Dawn on 17th March

Just imagine for a moment that an ordinary government servant, say a Lower Division Clerk of the Revenue Department appears on a local TV Channel and announces that the constitution of Pakistan is no more valid and the country would hence forth be run by a new law introduced by him, called the CCO (Clerks Constitution Order). This gentleman further states that all judges should consider themselves fired and house arrested, unless they take an oath on his newly invented CCO. What is going to be the reaction to this rather ludicrous announcement? Most people are likely to consider it comical and disregard it as an incident of no consequence. Some others may consider this person to be suffering from a delusion of grandiosity, some form of megalomania, acute egocentricity or simply undergoing a hypomanic episode. The newspapers would hardly bother to cover this story, except for some eveningers which might wish to use this as a filler for left over spaces. The local Nazim may ask the SHO to discipline this LDC for a day or two, till he learns not to talk about issues that do not strictly fall in the realm of land revenues. The Interior ministry would not even feel the need to issue a clarification, as they would not like to extend any more credence to this inconsequential irrelevance. The Parliament would not be required to even take a notice of this absurdity, while the Judges would certainly not be seen bee lining in large numbers, dying to take oath under the new CCO.

Now imagine another government servant, say the Chief of the Army Staff, one day does exactly the same thing that the UDC did, except that he calls his figment as PCO instead of CCO. One would imagine exactly the same sequence of events to repeat themselves. People considering this to be a lunatic expression and the government not even bothered to issue a clarification. The civil society does not take to the streets and the constitutional experts do not hold seminars to debate how this illegal lacunae may be resolved. The parliament would not hold a special session to undo the PCO or to restore the judges, for the judges would keep going to their offices as normal. The state institutions, police bureaucracy, ministries, and executives of all kinds would ensure that nothing hinders the judges from performing their routine activities. However the Army being a responsible, law abiding, and disciplined force, would not leave this matter to the local SHO, and instead will decide to take the necessary disciplinary action against this gentleman. After all he violated the precious Army Act by indulging in politics and saying things against the constitution. This is how it would happen in any half civilized country, and this is how it should have happened in Pakistan.

Pakistan does need to explore unique methodologies to undo what was completely illegal and irrelevant to start with. The proclamations of November 3, 2007 were the brainchild of a government servant whose oath and job function debarred him from saying or doing any such thing. We do not have to wait for the arrival of the new parliament to make a grand decision to restore the judiciary. The judiciary was never unseated, for the Army Chief has simply no authority to do so. There is neither a court order nor a decision from the parliament required to restore the judges. All that is needed is that the state institutions enable and ensure that all judges can go back to their jobs as they stood on November 3, 2007. In a situation of a blatant conflict between the delusional desires of an individual and the dictates of the constitution of Pakistan, it should not be a complex assignment for the state institutions to decide which option to take. Acting in accordance with the dictates of their conscience and constitution, they should immediately facilitate all judges to resume their responsibilities from where they left on November 3, 2007. Any state institution not doing so is itself guilty of violating the constitution. Perhaps the matters that the new parliament may look into are why the state institutions including members of their own clan were in such a hurry to rubber stamp such illegal arrangements. Why did the government functionaries (except for the sixty honourable judges) not refuse to obey the blatantly illegal orders of the Army Chief. Perhaps the Army also needs to implement its own accountability process for those who violated the Army Act (besides the constitution of Pakistan). By bringing the violators to justice, we may forever be able to get rid of our seven yearly PCO itch. Alternately we should start tightening our seat belts and brace up for a yet another deja vu in not too distant future.


7 Comments

  • FARDEEN |

    mushraf dectatr………… and all pml q
    lotas
    especially pervez elahi ,sheikh rasheed and hamid nasir chatta

  • d0ct0r |

    Pre 3rd Nov Judges coudln’t have been legally sacked ,so all those 50+ deposed judges still are legally judges of Supreme court/High Courts .. as for the fate of new Judges(Dogar Court) who took oath under 3rd NOV PCO,they all defied 2Nov ruling of Supreme Court which declared any attempt to impose emergency as unconstitutional and barred all judges to take oath under PCO ,so their fate is very much obvious they should be rolled back to their previous positions or should be left at the discretion of pre 3rd Nov Supreme court to decide about their fate..

  • d0ct0r |

    current Pakistani Dictator(Mushrraf) holds a unique distinction of abrogating the constitution not just once but twice.. first on 12 Oct 1999 when PCO was issued which was later legitimized with 2/3rd majority with the help of MMA and Mush was off the hook, and now second time on 3rd Nov’s PCO … but this PCO isn’t yet legitimized by parliament with 2/3rd majority.. so Mush’s own fate hangs in balance.. coz according to law any one who abrogates constitution is liable to be hanged to death, PLUS his presidential elections are still controversial as well,and once Supreme Court is restored it’ll decide about the question whether Mush did the right thing by contesting election in uniform or not… lastly Mush will have to take vote of confidence from new assembly as well

  • Haey politics |

    Its irrelevant to this topic but I want to convey my sympathy to Makhdoom Ameen Faheem. I really feel pity for this guy.

    Actually his political career was murdered the moment Zardari became the CO-CHAIRPERSON. Zardari played his cards right, people were emotional at that time and so was Amin Faheem (Probably).

    Makhdoom Ameen Faheem was a ‘dum-challa’, but given the personality of BB, that seemed ok. But now, atleast I think, Ameen Faheem should have been the PM nominee.

    Politics is brutal, if you play nice you loose.

    Look at Naveed Qamar, he disowned his friendship to embrace the possible OFFICE.

    Maktab-e-Ishq main dastoor Nirala dekha
    Saza Us ko Mili Jis Ne Sabaq Yad Kiya

  • MALIK AMAN |

    Wouldn’t it be great when that kind of power will be in the hands of poor people like us (or in ur case a clerk).
    like changing the constitution or something like that.
    i will add in the constitution than 200 ruppes per day for all the citizens. hehehehe

    see the glass half full not half empty .
    judicary sucked than and it sucks now what’s the difference why dont we come to the real problems like feed the poor juidicary can not fulfill the hunger stomaches of the people food does.
    who is the dam owner if this site why doesn;t he posts topic which is related to the most imp issues

  • d0ct0r |

    Judiciarys restoration

    THE decision made in the Murree Declaration that the judiciary will be restored through a parliamentary resolution passed in the National Assembly within 30 days is a gimmick to silence lawyers. The key leaders of the lawyers movement have been stressing since the start of the movement that the judiciary could be restored with an executive order.

    Most of the political parties, including the PML (N), supported this demand. If this demand was acceptable to civil society and most of the opposition parties, political coalition should have decided to restore the judiciary with an executive order of the PM as soon as he assumed his office. If an army officer of grade 22 can depose judges with an executive order, why cant the PM restore judges with similar measure? The top leadership of lawyers is urged to demand of the new PM to restore the deposed judges as soon as he assumes his office.

    GANGLY KHAN
    Mandi Bahauddin

    http://dawn.com/2008/03/19/letted.htm#6

    p.s. @MALIK AMAN stop posting infantile comments…

  • Aurangzeb Akbar |

    After General Musharraf dislodged a constitutional government on 12th October 1999, Iftikhar Chaudhry in order to save his job took oath under the PCO. However when he lost his job on 3rd of November 2007 he condemned the PCO. Lets stop having double standards. All PCO judges should be removed regardless of the fact whether they took oath under the PCO before 2nd of November 2007 or thereafter. We all know that present PCO judges have leanings towards Pakistan Peoples Party and deposed judges including Iftikhar Chaudhry are predisposed towards Pakistan Muslim League [Nawaz]. All these judges have become politicised and controversial. The only solution is to remove all these PCO judges and replace them by merited people incase our politicians, lawyers and civil society are desirous of having a truly independent judiciary in Pakistan. Lets get rid of Chaudhry, Dogar and their henchmen. Enough is enough.