[JURIST] New Pakistan Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar Sunday effectively set aside dismissed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry's last-ditch attempt to block [JURIST report] President Pervez Musharraf's Saturday emergency declaration and Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) [text], saying that the Supreme Court of Pakistan had issued no order on the matters. A declaration [text] issued Saturday by an 8-member Supreme Court bench led by Chaudhry and smuggled out of the high court in Islamabad to reporters outside while security services barricaded the building labeled any effort to interfere with the independence of the judiciary invalid and directed civilian and military official not to comply with the PCO. Chaudhry was dismissed from his position immediately after the government crackdown and Dogar was personally sworn in by Musharraf hours later. Security services eventually entered the court building and removed the former justices. The Supreme Court of Pakistan now officially consists of Dogar and three other judges of the original 19 who chose to take oaths under the new PCO. In an associated move, Dogar cancelled all court sessions [notice text] which had been scheduled for this week and replaced the Court registrar. PTI has more. ANI has additional coverage
Pakistani emergency laws have generally required sitting judges to take new oaths to continue in office. Although official information is still unavailable, figures quoted in news reports Sunday suggest that many provincial high court judges were following their federal colleagues in declining to swear oaths under the new constitutional regime. In Punjab only 12 of 31 judges were sworn, in Sindh only 4 of 27, in the North-West Frontier Province 7 out of 15 and in Balochistan six out of 11 judges. IAN has more.