LAHORE - The scrapping of the November 3 steps has come about through the Supreme Court order for the reason that they were never validated by the Parliament. The steps of enforcement of emergency followed by the PCO have been void by the SC and also the ordinance, which had protected both the steps rendering them a part of the Constitution, has been revoked, say the jurists. The hardest blow through the decision has come to Islamabad High Court, which has been made non-entity and to judges who lived under the umbrella of Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, whose constitutional status as Chief Justice of Pakistan has also been invalidated. The general reaction to the decision is very positive and is being conceived to have saved the country from a state of anarchy, which could have otherwise come to pass if oath of the President had also been rendered questionable for being administered by a judge who did not command constitutional acceptance. For the first time in the state history, the judiciary has declared the PCO null and void. For the second time after Asma Jilani case of 1972, the Supreme Court has undone actions of the dictator, however, when both of them were out of power. By declaring the November 3 acts of Pervez Musharraf as unconstitutional, which had far reaching effects on our national and international life, the decision has a heart to heart with the sentiments of majority, which hold Musharrafs steps akin to subversion the Constitution, hence liable to high treason trial. For the jurists, people would move the court with such cases once the SC has decided on the parameters and procedure of Article 6 of the Constitution governing the High Treason Act. A delicate question that also touched the Court proceedings, relates to the fate of National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), which provided relief exclusively to the politicians. The NRO promulgated by Gen Musharraf as political deal on October 4, 2007 got two of its main clauses stayed by the four-member bench of the SC, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, on October 11, 2007, before the court deferred further hearing of the case for three weeks. Mid-way of that Nov 3 action fell sacking 59 judges of superior courts judges. Later on, the five member bench headed by Justice Dogar resumed hearing of the case and validated the NRO on February 21,2008. Attorney General of Pakistan appeared before the court and argued that the NRO has lapsed after living for a four-month period. Raising the question whether case on NRO is a closed transaction or something resuscitated when Justice Dogar has been declared unconstitutional CJ and validation to NRO after the lapse of four months. Jurists opine the court can revisit the case in all events and the same may be with other cases, which had direct bearing with the PCO. However, the decision passed by the PCO-Court on other cases would not go rather they would be regularised as de jure from de facto. Hamid Khan thinks that the PCO judiciary being itself not constitutional was incompetent to hear the constitutional cases. As such these cases may meet the same treatment as the case in hand. The decision has finely cluttered the parts of the PCO impinging upon the constitutionality relating to the judges. Since the PCO, brought under the cover of the state of emergency, had specifically transformed the judiciary by way of subjecting those judges to PCO-oath who previously had taken the oath under the Constitution, and appointing the judges straightaway under the PCO-oath and the ones who were appointed on the consultation of a PCO-affected Chief Justice. Therefore, the Bench treaded a tightrope about the decision and reversed the order. As to the 37 ordinances issued by Gen Pervez under the shadow of the PCO from November 3,2006 to December 15, 2007, most of them are likely to be vanished with the invalidation of the PCO. The erase of PCO has in fact put the situation back to the decision of seven-member bench headed by the Chief Justice, which had restrained the superior courts judges from taking oath under the PCO while suspending operation of the order. In view of the jurists, the scrapping of the PCO affecting the judges who took oath in violation of the restraining interim order, has brought them back to their original constitutional oath. But the fact is these judges violated the seven-member bench order; therefore, their matter has properly been referred to the Supreme Judicial Council. And the rest ones, appointed till March 22, they has been removed invoking the Al-Jihad case of March 1996. As to the ordinances, they say, the court was competent to scrap those which strike against the criterion set by the Constitution and show individuality of Musharraf therein when he was holding two offices at the same time. The Court could, however, protect those ordinances relating to national security and vital national interest in light of a 1955 decision of the Federal Court, as well as Asma Jilani case of the SC. But it has left to the Parliament to decide their fate within four months time, which falls in lines with the spirit of the said decisions. The PCO had also allowed the formation of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which came into existence much later after lifting of the emergency. Jurists say the court has been abolished but the decisions passed by it would be covered by the principle of de facto and can by given de jure cover by the SC. Former president LHCBA Anwar Kamal says now the IHC can come into existence through a constitutional amendment only. The reversal of the Supreme Court strength of judges from 29 to 17, as the jurists say, may need the Parliament to play a role as that strength was raised to 29 through a finance bill passed by both houses. Generally, it was held at the relevant time that number of judges could not be raised in such a way but only through the act of the Parliament.