No PCO after elections, says CJ
Justice Munir A Sheikh sworn in as acting Chief Justice
Says BA condition can be annulled by post-October parliament
LAHORE: Supreme Court Justice Munir A Sheikh was sworn in on Monday as the country’s acting Chief Justice, as Chief Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmed has been appointed as the acting President of the country in the absence of President Musharraf, who is on an official trip to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and China.
Justice Tanvir Ahmed Khan, the most senior judge of the Supreme Court in Lahore, administered the oath at a ceremony in Supreme Court building here. SC judges, the deputy attorney general, Punjab advocate general, senior law-enforcement officials and Supreme Court lawyers and staff attended the ceremony.
Acting CJ Munir told newsmen after the oath-taking that the graduation qualification for a parliamentarian was an ordinary law, which an elected parliament could repeal.
He dispelled impressions that the judiciary was not independent, and said all such rumours were false. He said lawyers had been right in their objection that the judiciary was working under the Provincial Constitutional Order (PCO), and not the constitution. He said the government’s proposed constitutional draft would be reviewed in court if individuals, or groups, filed objections to it.
The acting chief Justice said elections will be held on time. He said the government has repeatedly stated that elections will be held on time and an announcement by the federal information minister on Monday confirmed this. He added that after election, there would be no PCO.
To a question on statements by Lahore High Court, acting Chief Justice Mian Nazir Akhtar said that there were traitors in the judiciary, acting CJ Munir replied that a clarification had been issued in this regard.
However, he advised reporters to ask on the issue from the person who said it.