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Uncertainty about fate of new SC judges

June 20, 2012

A TV broadcast showing Yousuf Raza Gilani at a barber shop in a neighbourhood, in Islamabad.—AP Photo
A TV broadcast showing Yousuf Raza Gilani at a barber shop in a neighbourhood, in Islamabad.—AP Photo

LARKANA: A prominent lawyer has raised questions about the fate of judges appointed after April 26, the day Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani ceased to be legitimate prime minister in accordance with the Supreme Court verdict announced on Tuesday.

Inayatullah Morio, president of the Larkana chapter of the Sindh High Court Bar Association, said that a number of judges appointed in the high courts of Sindh, Lahore and Peshawar on Mr Gilani’s recommendations since April 26.

Abdul Hamid Bhurgari, president of the Larkana District Bar Association said such an important case had been heard and judgment announced in haste. Instead of three judges’ bench, the case should have been heard by a larger bench of nine or ten judges, he said.

He said when the seven judges bench in its verdict in the contempt case which was sent to the Speaker of the National Assembly had not used the word ‘disqualification’, and , therefore, how could a three-judge bench say clearly that the prime minister stood disqualified.

When asked what would be the fate of judges appointed after April 26 on recommendations of prime minister, he said the issue might be covered under ‘doctrine of defecto’.

Shamsuddin Abbasi, a high court lawyer, said the verdict was the outcome of what he called the ‘attitude’ of government towards judiciary. He said the attorney-general had uttered harsh words against the judges.

He said under the maxim of ‘doctrine of defecto’, the appointment of supreme court and high court judges could be given protection.

Khair Mohammed Shaikh, president of the Larkana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the verdict was against the supremacy of parliament because the court had turned down the Speaker’s ruling.

Imdad Chandio, a leader of PML-N, welcomed the verdict and said the ‘root cause of ills’ was still there. He demanded general elections for a fresh mandate.

Protest: Activists of Sindh People’s Students Federation took to the roads and fired in the air leading to closure of shops. Main trading centres were closed and petrol pumps stopped selling fuel fearing attacks.

In Hyderabad, activists of the Sindh People’s Youth Organisation (SPYO) marched from the district council to the press club in protest against the apex court verdict against Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The protesters raised slogans against the judgment and in support of the prime minister. They said their party was being victimised.

They also burnt posters and banners of Pakistan Tehrik-i- Insaaf (PTI).

The divisional president of SPYO Hyderabad, Ahsan Abro, said it was their democratic right to protest against the judgment.

In Nawabshah, activists of Sindh People’s Students Federation and Peoples Hari Committee demonstrated outside the local press club against the Supreme Court verdict.

They raised slogans against the judiciary and termed the decision unjustified. They said Yousuf Raza Gilani was an elected prime minister who had reinstated the deposed judges.