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I will resume duties if freed: Deposed Pak CJ
February 21, 2008 10:42 IST
Amidst reports that he would soon be freed from house arrest, Pakistan's sacked Supreme Court chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has vowed to march to his office to resume his duties as soon as he is released and said the election results proved that the country wanted the reinstatement of the deposed judges.
Chaudhry, who has been detained along with his family in his official residence in Islamabad since President Pervez Musharraf [Images] proclaimed emergency on November 3, 2007, said, "The moment I am freed I will march to my office in the Supreme Court of Pakistan and assume my job."
He also said the whole country had demanded the reinstatement of the deposed judges and this had been proved by the results of the February 18 elections.
Insisting that he was still the constitutional and legal chief justice, Chaudhry told The News that if he was restricted, he would hold his court in an open field along with other judges of the apex court who were sacked by Musharraf after refusing to endorse last year's emergency.
Since the opposition Pakistan People's Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-N emerged the two largest parties in the general election, there have been reports that the Interior Ministry was considering the release of lawyers and judges detained during last year's emergency.
PML-N chief and former premier Nawaz Sharif has pledged to work for the reinstatement of all the deposed judges.
Chaudhry said only his illegal house arrest had barred him from attending office.
"As soon as I am free, I will go to my office of the chief justice of Pakistan," he said. He said he would not accept any condition being attached to his release from illegal confinement.
"If today I, being the chief justice of Pakistan, bind myself to the unconstitutional orders of the chief of the army staff, then tomorrow an inspector general of police might come up with his own constitutional amendments and order the arrest of any future chief justice of Pakistan," he said.
Chaudhry said after his release, he would go to the apex court with other judges who did not take oath during emergency rule.
Simultaneously, the deposed judges of the provincial high courts would also go to their offices.
He said he was in contact with other deposed judges, whose number was over 50.