Pakistan reduces number of apex court judges

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Islamabad, Nov 6 (UNI) The number of the Supreme Court judges in Pakistan has been cut down to twelve -- 11 judges and one Chief Justice -- from 17, Attorney General Justice Malik Qayyum said.

He added that the 11-judge bench will take up the petitions challenging President Pervez Musharraf's candidature for October 6 Presidential polls.

Justice Qayyum clarified that the restructuring was purely an administrative decision and has nothing to do with the imposition of emergency. He said only the Chief Justice can recommend the elevation of High Court judges for appointment to the apex court.

He said four judges of the High Courts have been elevated as Supreme Court Judges and they will take oath anytime, The News reported.

Four judges of the Supreme Court Justice Nawaz Abbasi, Justice Faqir Khokhar, Justice Javed Bhuttar and Justice Saeed Ashaad have already taken oath under the PCO in addition to Justice Dogar of the Supreme Court who has taken oath as the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

Justice Qayyum revealed that the government was trying to persuade two other judges of a High Court for their appointment in the Supreme Court. He said that by the inclusion of the two more judges there will be 11 judges in the Supreme Court and one more judge will be added later on.


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