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SC takes up cases on SJC tomorrow

April 15, 2007

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ISLAMABAD, April 14: The Supreme Court will take up on Monday identical petitions, challenging formation of the Supreme Judicial Council and sending of a reference by President Pervez Musharraf against ‘non-functional’ Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

During the last hearing a three-member bench comprising Justice Sardar Mohammad Raza Khan, Justice Chaudhry Ijaz Ahmed and Justice Hamid Ali Mirza had served notices on the president’s secretariat, SJC and the federal government through the ministry of law.

Now the case will be taken up again on April 16.

The petitions had been filed by the Watan Party through Barrister Zafarullah Khan and Adliya Bachao Committee represented by Dr Farooq Hassan.

In his petition, Barrister Zafarullah relied on a judgment of the Supreme Court (PLD 1996 P-324SC Al-Jihad Trust Case) in which it was decided that “acting chief justices were allowed to function for a short time and in the absence of permanent chief justice the composition of the SJC becomes imperfect and the body as such becomes unfunctional.”

The chief justice of Pakistan is available; his office is not vacant and he is not on leave nor can he be suspended or removed like other judges of the superior judiciary, the petition pleaded.