Islamabad, May 14 : The deposed provincial high court judges have reportedly rejected a Presidency offer to reinstate them as judges at the cost of their seniority as compared to their colleagues who preferred to work with President Pervez Musharraf under the PCO (Provincial Constitutional Order) promulgated on November 3, 2007.
In the 'unusual' offer, the government had contacted several deposed judges of the provincial high courts with an offer to reappoint them as judges of their respective high courts, "but at the cost of compromising their pre-Nov 3 seniority", reported The News.
This new initiative, if implemented, would make those judges of the provincial high courts who had refused to take oath under General Musharraf's PCO on Nov 3, 2007, junior to their colleagues who preferred to work with a military strongman under the PCO. "But, almost all those deposed judges, approached with this new recipe for their restoration, have reportedly refused to accept this bizarre offer," added the paper.
Quoting sources, the paper further said that through this move the government would be rewarding the judges who had taken oath under the PCO on Nov 3, and punishing those who had refused to show allegiance to the military dictator in "violation of the Constitution".
Sources said that some senior government functionaries, including a federal minister and a top official of the prime minister's secretariat, held a marathon meeting with a few "important persons" in the vicinity of Punjab House last night to finalise the plan. Some provincial governors were also consulted while a few pre-Nov 3 colleagues of the judges were assigned the task of contacting the deposed judges of the high courts with this unusual offer.
The meeting, which started late at night, continued till 4:00 a.m, the paper said and added that the plan has been authored by the presidency.
It was the judges' restoration issue that forced the PML (N) to quit the cabinet on Monday after the PPP backtracked from the Murree Declaration and insisted that all the judges of the present superior judiciary would be retained as regular judges. The PML (N) had compromised to the extent that the PCO judges, appointed after Nov 3 in the Supreme Court, would be made ad hoc judges.