Dogar rightful CJ, says law minister

Published Dec 14, 2008 12:00am

ISLAMABAD, Dec 13: Defending Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar’s legal position, Law Minister Farooq H. Naek said on Saturday he was the rightful and constitutional Chief Justice of Pakistan.

Talking to reporters after members of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) defeated a motion to declare the chief justice unconstitutional, he reiterated that Justice Dogar had not misused his office.

He also said the National Assembly’s standing committee probing the issue of grant of additional marks to Justice Dogar’s daughter was not competent to summon the chief justice and order him to answer allegations levelled against him.

The stand was opposed by the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), Ali Ahmed Kurd.

Earlier, the PBC defeated a motion tabled by Mr Kurd seeking to declare Justice Dogar unconstitutional, but carried through a move seeking the reinstatement of deposed chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

The motion also denounced the emergency proclaimed on Nov 3 last year by former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

The 179th meeting of the PBC council was presided over by Attorney-General Sardar Mohammad Latif Khan Khosa and was requisitioned by Qazi Mohammad Anwar, Rasheed A. Razvi, Hafiz Abdul Rehman Ansari and SCBA president Mr Kurd to deliberate upon a five-point agenda.

The meeting was attended by 19 members of the 22-member body.

The meeting unanimously adopted the first two items on the agenda, a source privy to the meeting told Dawn.

However, the third item calling for recognising deposed chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry as the rightful chief justice was rejected, six voting in favour and 12 against. One council member, Abu’l Inam, abstained.

The resolution also urged the council not to recognise Justice Dogar, being the ‘beneficiary’ of an unconstitutional emergency.

The first two items on the agenda called for declaring all actions, including the imposition of Nov 3 emergency, promulgation of the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) and the Judges (Oath of Office) Order, of the former president unconstitutional, legally ineffective and a nullity in law.

It also urged the council members to render these acts ineffective by restoring the pre-emergency judiciary and take legal action against Mr Musharraf for illegal actions.

The fourth item on the agenda was the announcement of the by-election schedule for three vacant council seats. The attorney general, who is the ex-officio chairman of the council, assured the meeting that the schedule would be announced soon.

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