Two more Pakistan Supreme Court judges sworn in under PCO

[JURIST] Emergency Pakistani Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar administered oaths of office under Pakistan's Provisional Constitution Order [text] to two more high court judges Tuesday. The addition of Justice Mohammad Akhtar Shabbir [official profile] and Justice Zia Perwez to the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] brings the reconstituted court's total complement to 11, just one shy of the reduced twelve-judge total [JURIST report] set last week by Pakistan Attorney General Malik Qayyum. Shabbir was formerly a member of the Lahore High Court; Perwez was formerly a judge on the Sindh High Court.

The court's original full complement of 19 judges under the leadership of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry was effectively dismissed on November 3 after General Pervez Musharraf declared emergency rule. Only two judges of that court - Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi and new Chief Justice Dogar - took oaths under the new PCO. The last act of the former court, undertaken while its building was under siege by police and troops sent in under the emergency declaration, was to issue an order [text] barring judges and other civic and military officials from taking oaths under the new PCO. The new court ruled [JURIST report] last Tuesday that that order was "void, quroum non judice and passed without lawful authority," saying it "shall be deemed never to have been passed as Proclamation of Emergency and the Provisional Constitution Order were already issued by the President." Pakistani bar groups protesting the emergency have declared that they will not cooperate with judges who have taken PCO oaths.

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