Aitzaz puts PML-N, PPP on notice.

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Dawn Report
LAHORE / HYDERABAD, Feb 23: The legal community kept up the momentum in their ongoing campaign for the reinstatement of deposed judges by using different events of their bar associations held on Saturday to spotlight their demands. At one such event Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Aitzaz Ahsan warned the leaderships of the PPP and PML-N to get the deposed judges reinstated quickly or face a movement themselves.The other event used by the lawyers to highlight their demands was the ceremony of the Hyderabad High Court Bar Association at which the deposed chief justice of SHC, Sabihuddin Ahmed, administered the oath to newly elected office-bearers.Addressing lawyers in Lahore who had turned out to elect office-bearers for the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA), Mr Ahsan ruled out any compromise on the planned long march on Islamabad if the deposed judges were not reinstated by March 7.“The lawyers are providing a chance to the new parliament to reinstate the judges, otherwise they are all set to hold a rally in Islamabad on March 9,” Mr Ahsan said.The SCBA leader’s detention was relaxed for a short period to allow him to cast his vote in the LHCBA election on Saturday.Mr Ahsan said the PCO, which led to removal of over 60 judges, including the deposed chief justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, would obstruct the functioning of the new parliament.Referring to the Supreme Court verdict on the reinstatement of the chief justice, Mr Ahsan said the decision had held out that no judge of the superior judiciary could be removed unless the Supreme Judicial Council decided to do so under Article 209 of the Constitution.“The removal of the judges under the PCO and the oath under the same were against the legal and constitutional authority,” he said.He said if the Nov 3 PCO was not discarded, it would provide legitimacy to future army chiefs to impose emergency, usurp the basic rights of the people and amend the Constitution, forcing the future governments to follow it.The center of ‘power gravity’ would remain with the parliament if the judges were restored, otherwise it would shift to streets because the lawyers would not abandon their principled demands at any cost, he said.Mr Ahsan said so far the legal fraternity was satisfied with both PPP Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif on their mutual agreement to restore the judges and they would provide them an opportunity to fulfil their promise.“If the leadership of both the parties want the parliament to take a decision on judges’ restoration, we give them a chance,” he said. However, he warned, the tide of the lawyers’ movement would turn against them if they did not reinstate the deposed judges. Mr Ahsan said Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and his three children had been confined to the four walls of their house over the past three and a half months. During this period the children had not only been denied access to their schools, the whole family was without electricity, water and gas.He condemned a caretaker minister for asking the deposed chief justice to vacate his residence. “If he is interested in getting the official residences vacated, he should get the Army House vacated from Gen (retd) Musharraf first,” Mr Ahsan said.Earlier, when Mr Ahsan reached the Lahore High Court building to cast his vote, he was warmly welcomed by hundreds of lawyers.In Hyderabad, the deposed SHC chief justice, Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed, urged lawyers to offer professional advice to political leadership to help them undo the wrongs done in the past.He was addressing the oath-taking ceremony of office-bearers of the High Court Bar Association (HCBA), Hyderabad, at the sessions’ court building here.He said the wrongs of the past would have to be rectified to save institutions which had been built after a long time but destroyed by just a stroke of pen.Former Supreme Court judge Ghulam Rabbani said that after 14 judges of the apex court had been sacked by just a stroke of pen a seven-member bench of which he was also a member had annulled the order the same night.“I believe that Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry is still the chief justice of Pakistan,” he said.Former Supreme Court Bar Association (SBCA) president Munir A. Malik said that only an executive order was sufficient to enable deposed judges to assume charge of their offices, but a resolution adopted by newly elected parliament would certainly strengthen the position of judges.“We believe that judges stood reinstated after the lifting of emergency and only an executive order is sufficient to restore them to the pre-Nov 3 position.“However, a resolution from parliament will be needed to strengthen this position,” he said.SHCBA President Abdul Sattar Kazi deplored the fact that the management of the Hyderabad Circuit Bench had not allowed them to hold the oath-taking ceremony in the court’s parking lot.Earlier, 14 deposed judges of SHC, including Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed and former SC judge Ghulam Rabbani, former Supreme Court Bar Association president Munir A. Malik and Sindh Bar Council (SBC) chairman Rasheed A. Razvi were garlanded and presented Ajraks and Sindhi caps upon their arrival here from Karachi in a judicial bus.
link: http://www.dawn.com/2008/02/24/top5.htm

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