Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Draft resolution on judges issue ready

By Syed Irfan Raza

ISLAMABAD, April 20: The government has finalised the draft of a resolution for reinstatement of all deposed judges, including Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, PPP sources told Dawn on Sunday.

The sources said that the resolution would be presented in the National Assembly within a week and all deposed judges of superior courts would be reinstated.

They said the coalition partners had made some changes in the draft of the resolution prepared by former justice Fakharuddin G. Ibrahim.According to the agreed draft, the strength of the Supreme Court would be enhanced and no existing judge of the apex court would be removed.

The original draft had sought removal of the judges who had taken oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO). The new draft suggests that the deposed chief justice would work till reaching the age of superannuation.

When contacted, information minister Sherry Rehman said that the coalition partners were very actively working for the reinstatement of deposed judges and a final announcement would be made soon.“We want the best possible solution to this problem,” she said.

Another senior leader of PPP said that PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif, Awami National Party President Asfandyar Wali and Maulana Fazlur Rehman would make a formal announcement of the agreed resolution.

The author of the resolution, Justice Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim, has stressed the need for early reinstatement of judges in accordance with the Constitution, and advised against politicising the matter.

He said that he had sent the draft of the resolution some three weeks ago and pleaded forcefully that the coalition government could easily reinstate the judges without any constitutional amendment because the judges had been deposed unconstitutionally.

The resolution also had the backing of 15 former superior court judges, four chief justices among them, who had supported Justice Ibrahim’s contention that the removal of judges under the emergency decree on Nov 3 was unconstitutional and that a resolution in the National Assembly would be sufficient for their reinstatement.

(Courtesy DAWN)

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