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Pakistan to pension dismissed judges but Chaudhry threatens treason trials

[JURIST] The Pakistani government will provide pension and other benefits to Supreme Court and High Court judges dismissed from their positions in the wake of the November 3 declaration of emergency rule, independent station Geo-TV reported on its website Wednesday. Officials have decided that the judges who refused to take an oath under the new Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) [text] will be treated in the same way as retired judges. The announced policy is similar to that followed in 1999 when six then-sitting Supreme Court judges refused to swear an oath under the PCO issued by General Pervez Musharraf when he initially seized power from then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Geo-TV has more.

Meanwhile Wednesday, deposed Supreme Court of Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] told members of the Northwest Frontier Province Bar Association in a read statement reported by PPI that he and over 60 other superior court judges who have refused to take PCO oaths still hold office under Pakistan's constitution, and that those who had suspended the constitution illegally could be tried under its Article 6, section 1 of which reads: "Any person who abrogates or attempts or conspires to abrogate, subverts or attempts or conspires to subvert the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason." Chaudhry said the state of emergency had been imposed illegally but that those who resisted it would succeed. PPI has more.

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