[JURIST] Dismissed Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] warned the registrar of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in a letter Wednesday that any effort by the government to remove him from his official residence in the capital, Islamabad, would amount to kidnapping. Chaudhry was responding to indications that he might be taken by police from Chief Justice House [file photo] to the southern city of Quetta. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf installed Abdul Hameed Dogar as the new Chief Justice of Pakistan [JURIST report] after his declaration of emergency rule on November 3, but Chaudhry has insisted that his appointment and those of other new Supreme Court justices under Musharraf's Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) are illegal. Pakistan's Dawn newspaper quoted Chaudhry as saying:
I am not interested in going to Quetta or elsewhere and it will be an act of abduction and forcible detention for which the secretary for interior, Islamabads commissioner [of police], deputy commissioner and assistant commissioner on duty shall be responsible along with law-enforcement agencies...Presently, I am holding the post of Chief Justice of Pakistan under Constitution and I am occupying the official accommodation.Chaudhry is not formally under house arrest but did say that he was not allowed to leave his house and his children were being prevented from attending school and university. Dawn has more.
In a separate statement to the Northwest Frontier Province Bar Association Wednesday Chaudhry said that he was one of over 60 superior court judges who had refused to take PCO oaths [JURIST report] and still legally held office.