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July 31 verdict clears constitution violated by Nov 3 emergency: SC

29 January, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani said on Tuesday that it was clear from the Supreme Court's July 31, 2009 verdict that the constitution was violated by imposition of emergency on November 3, 2007.

The 14-member larger Supreme Court bench headed by the chief justice heard the review petition filed by Musharraf against the apex court's verdict maintaining the sacking of superior court judges and other actions taken by him under imposition of emergency null and void. During the course of proceedings, petitioner's counsel Ibrahim Satti apprised the court that Musharraf was given the right to make amendments in the constitution and changes were made in more than 100 articles.

Musharraf had issued a new oath for judges following the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) of 2000 and former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was also among the judges who took oath under the PCO, he added.

Ibrahim Satti said the July 31 verdict had declared the proclamation of emergency as unconstitutional but it did not state that the step was equal to breaching the constitution. He said a reference was also filed against the ex-chief justice on March 9, 2007, while the Supreme Court ordered to restore Iftikhar Chaudhry on July 20, 2007. After the restoration of the former chief justice, the referring authority did not file a review petition, he added.

Satti argued that the original draft of the PCO was not made part of the court's order. On this, Chief Justice Jillani inquired about the contents of the original draft. Satti replied that emergency was imposed on November 3, 2007 after consulting the armed forces and chief of the army staff. He said the governors, corps commanders and chief of the army staff were on board regarding the decision. Satti argued that the July 31 verdict was declared to be void in the Iqbal Tikka case decision.

The court questioned whether Article 6 of the constitution was to be declared as unconstitutional and ineffective. Musharraf's counsel said the November 3 step was given protection in the Tikka Iqbal case. Upon this, Justice Saqib observed that this case's decision had already been declared void. The counsel said the emergency was proclaimed on November 3, 2007 due to a situation similar to that on October 12, 1998, when Musharraf staged a military coup and toppled the democratically elected government of then prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

However, all institutions except the judiciary were functioning as per routine on November 3. The court asked whether the emergency was imposed for the judiciary alone. "Unfortunately it is true," said Musharraf's counsel. The lawyer said his client had not been given the right to present his stance in the court. The court adjourned the hearing until today (Wednesday) and directed Satti to complete his arguments.

End.

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