Pak Chief Justice to decide if Musharraf should be prosecuted for defying SC order

Islamabad, Feb 3(ANI): Pakistan's Supreme Court has declined to accept the pleas of two sitting superior court judges facing contempt charges, who sought the prosecution of former president Pervez Musharraf and former prime minister Shaukat Aziz among others for defying a restraining order issued by the apex court on November 3, 2007.

"It is, in our opinion, quite unnecessary to link or club the proceedings against the respondents (sitting judges) with those which may be taken against the above named persons (former president and the army chief, the prime minister, corps commanders, etc)," the Dawn quoted a four-judge bench of the apex court, as saying in its order.

The bench said a decision whether or not to proceed against Musharraf, Shaukat and the then corps commanders would be taken by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, and asked the court office to submit copies of the order to the CJ for necessary action.

The court fixed February 21 to frame the 'contempt of court' charges against eight of the ten sitting judges for defying the restraining order issued by a seven-judge bench on November 3, 2007, moments after the proclamation of emergency by Musharraf.

The order said the two remaining judges were spared from the contempt proceedings because they had taken oath under the under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) on Dec 14, 2007, when they were not judges and therefore, did not violate the court's restraining order.

"In the circumstances their conduct in taking oath under the PCO and purporting to act as judges is deprecated in terms of Section 18(2) of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003," the verdict said, adding that they would not be charged to face trial under contempt.

The rest of the judges will be indicted under Article 204 of the Constitution and the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003 for flouting and disregarding the apex court's orders. The sitting judges would be show caused and Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq would act as prosecutor under the law. (ANI)

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