ISLAMABAD, Nov 3: A majority of the Supreme Court as well as the provincial high court judges either refused or were not invited to take oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) issued after the proclamation of the state of emergency here on Saturday.
However, it was not clear whether the judges who were not invited on Saturday would be asked to take a fresh oath on Sunday or Monday.
“The development suggests that the judicial activism spearheaded by now removed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry also had an effect on the judges,” a legal expert commented while talking to Dawn.
In the Supreme Court, only four judges out of 19 took oath under the PCO. Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, who is the fourth in line in the seniority list, was sworn in as the new Chief Justice of Pakistan by President Pervez Musharraf. He was elevated as judge of the apex court in April 2000 when the then chief justice Saiduzzaman Siddiqui and six other judges who had refused to take oath under the PCO issued by Gen Musharraf at the time of the first coup.
Those who took oath under the fresh PCO are Justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi, Justice Faqir Muhammad Khokhar and Justice M Javed Buttar.
In the Sindh High Court, four judges out of 27 sitting judges took oath with Chief Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed declining to take oath.
However the most startling news came from Quetta where all the five existing judges of the Balochistan High Court took oath.
In Sindh, Justice Mohammad Afzal Soomro was sworn in as the Chief Justice who was seventh in line among the senior judges.
Later, the SHC Chief Justice administered oath to Justice Munib Ahmed Khan, Justice Mrs Yasmin Abbasi and Justice Mrs Qaiser Iqbal.
Those who took oath in Quetta are: Chief Justice Amanullah Yasinzai, Justice Mohammad Nadir Khan, Justice Akhtar Zaman, Justice Ahmed Khan Lashari and Justice Kalash Nath Kauli.
In Peshawar, Chief Justice Tariq Pervez Khan and Justice Shah Jehan Khan refused to take oath and Justice Talaat Qayyum Qureshi, who is third in seniority, was sworn in as Chief Justice. Only five of the 13 judges took oath. They are Justice Ijazul Hassan Khan, Justice Muhammad Qaim Jan Khan, Justice Salim Khan, Justice Said Maroof Khan and Justice Hamid Farooq Durrani.
According to an official announcement, Justice Mohammad Raza and Justice Raj Mohammad Khan would be administered oath on Monday. Four of the judges were not invited.
Justice Syed Zahid Hussain Bokhari, Justice Nasim Sikandar, Justice Mohammad Khalid Alvi, Justice Sakhi Hussain Bokhari, Justice M Bilal Khan, Justice Mohammad Muzammal Khan, Justice Syed Shabbar Raza Rizvi, Justice Hamid Ali Shah, Justice Tariq Shamim, Justice Syed Asghar Haider, Justice Hasnat Ahmad Khan and Justice Fazl-e-Miran Chohan were administered oath by the Peshawar High Court Chief Justice.
In Lahore, 13 of 31 judges took oath. Four other judges in the circuit benches are expected to take oath on Sunday or Monday.