Pak coalition finalises draft resolution on judges' restoration

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Islamabad, Apr 21 (UNI) Pakistan's coalition government has finalised the draft of a resolution for reinstatement of all deposed judges, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

According to local media reports, the resolution would be presented in the National Assembly within a week and all judges of superior courts, deposed for not taking fresh oath of allegiance to President Pervez Musharraf after imposition of emergency in the country on November 3, 2007, would be reinstated.

The coalition partners had made some changes in the draft of the resolution prepared by former judge and a renowned jurist, Fakharuddin G Ibrahim.

According to the agreed draft, the strength of the Supreme Court would be enhanced and no existing judge of the apex court would be removed.

The original draft had sought removal of the judges who had taken fresh oath after November 3. The new draft suggests that the deposed chief justice would work till reaching the age of superannuation.

Information minister Sherry Rehman said the coalition partners were actively working for the reinstatement of deposed judges and a final announcement would be made soon.

''We want the best possible solution to this problem,'' she said.

The author of the resolution, Fakhruddin G Ibrahim, has stressed the need for early reinstatement of judges in accordance with the constitution, and advised against politicising the matter.

He said he had sent the draft of the resolution some three weeks ago and pleaded forcefully that the coalition government could easily reinstate the judges without any constitutional amendment because the judges had been deposed unconstitutionally.

The resolution also had the backing of 15 former superior court judges, four chief justices among them, who had supported Justice Ibrahim's contention that the removal of judges under the emergency decree on November 3 was unconstitutional and that a resolution in the National Assembly would be sufficient for their reinstatement.

UNI XC ARB PM1155

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