Sunday, January 13, 2008

Justice (R) Bhagwandas put under house arrest

KARACHI (Daily Times): Justice (retd) Rana Bhagwandas of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, who had refused to take oath under PCO-2007, has again been put under house arrest, this time hours after he addressed members of the Karachi Bar Association (KBA). The action came soon after he returned home. Talking to Daily Times on the phone, the pusine judge he said that a police officer, SP Asif Aijaz Shaikh, had come to his residence along with other police officers and delivered verbal orders for his house arrest. The police officer told that he had received these orders from his high-ups but failed to furnish any reason. Bhagwandas himself had the impression that this was the government’s reaction to his meetings, speeches and talks to lawyers and the media. “They (the government) had must dislike [them],” he said.

The KBA’s Naeem Qureshi said that the house arrest was aimed at throttling dissent. According to sources, the orders of detention were served by a senior police official upon the ex-judge as he planned to address a number of bar associations. Justice Bhagwandas was working to rejuvenate the struggle for an independent judiciary which is why he was considered a threat, said a Sindh Bar Council member. Chief Justice of Pakistan (retd) Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has been under detention since Nov 3.

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