ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR - Three sacked judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan staged a comeback on Friday after taking a fresh oath, leaving behind deposed Chief Justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, whose support is thinning with each passing day. Those who took fresh oath are Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Tasadduq Hussain Jillani and Justice Syed Jamshed Ali. These judges had refused to take oath under the Provincial Constitution Order (PCO) issued by former President Pervez Musharraf on November 3, 2007. Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar administered the fresh oath in a ceremony at Supreme Court building in the evening. Judges of the apex court, Chief Justice Islamabad High Court Sardar Mohammad Aslam, other judges of IHC, Minister for Law Farooq H Naek, Attorney General for Pakistan Sardar Latif Khosa, Senior Advocate Senator Dr Babar Awan, Law officers, advocates and advocates-on-records and senior officials of the Supreme Court also attended the ceremony. The re-appointed judges have again joined the bench with immediate effect and their seniority was ensured from November 2, 2007, the day they were sacked from their offices by the former regime. These three judges are also entitled to take all pensionary benefits as judges of the apex court. A total of 12 apex court judges were deposed on November 2 last year when the then army chief and President Pervez Musharraf suspended the Constitution and imposed emergency in the country. Sources in the Law Ministry say the PPP-regime is trying to convince more deposed judges of the apex court to accept their re-appointment while ensuring them that their seniority would not be disturbed. Among these, the Law Ministry was hopeful about the return of deposed Justice Nasirul Mulk, Justice Chaudhry Ejaz Ahmed, Justice Falak Sher. However, the chances for return of deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza and Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed were described as "thin". Talking to the reporters at the oath taking, Law Minister Farooq H Naek said deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry could be restored as a judge of the apex court if he shows willingness to take fresh oath. Naek, however, ruled out the return of Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as Chief Justice of Pakistan. Farooq H Naek reiterated that Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar is the constitutional Chief Justice of Pakistan and there could be no two chief justices under the Constitution. Replying to a query whether the government could reconsider to restore Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as Chief Justice of Pakistan, Naek said such a possibility could only be taken up if he comes back after taking fresh oath as a judge. "Those deposed judges who are interested in taking oath should contact us," Naik said. "We are not creating hurdles in the reinstatement of deposed judges and restoring the judges after the resignation of former president Musharraf," the Law Minister maintained. Naek claimed credit for PPP government that it had fulfilled its promise it had made with the people. Legal experts say the recent reappointments in the apex court in furtherance of the moves at the High Courts of Lahore, Sindh and Peshawar is a major blow to deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and that portion of lawyers movement which is led by Aitzaz Ahsan. "Though the moral position of Iftikhar Chaudhry remains high but his support among the judges and lawyers is falling down rapidly due to hectic lobbying of Farook H Naek, Attorney General Latif Khosa and other PPP lawyers", said one of the experts. Law Ministry officials also said that there might be another oath-taking at the apex court in the next week where more deposed judges could take oath. Chances for return of Justice Nasirul Mulk, Justice Chaudhry Ejaz Ahmed, Justice Justice Falak Sher, Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed are high, an official privy to the development, said. He was, however, less optimistic about the return of Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza and Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed as the chances for their comeback were being described as "thin". "Government considers Justice Ramday too hot to handle while Raja Fayyaz is a close relative of Iftikhar Chaudhry", the official believed. Regarding Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, he said there was a question of seniority involved. Two other judges who were deposed on November 3 last year, Justice Rana Bhagwandas and Justice Javed Iqbal are already discarded from the list of the possible returnees. Bhagwandas has already retired after attaining the age of superannuation while Javed Iqbal had accepted a government job, shortly after being deposed. Five judges of the apex court had taken oath under Musharraf's PCO in November last year. They were Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, Justice Faqir Muhammad Khokar, Justice M Javed Buttar, Justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbaasi and Justice Syed Saeed Ashad. Justice Abbasi retired from office in July this year after attaining the age of superannuation. Former SCBA President and key leader of the lawyers' movement, Justice (Retd) Tariq Mehmood has criticized the government for restoring the judges through re-appointment. He demanded that all the deposed judges, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, should be restored forthwith. Meanwhile, three deposed judges of Peshawar High Court including Chief Justice Tariq Pervez Khan were sworn in to their offices on Friday. The Chief Justice took oath of his office Friday noon at Governor House while the two other judges were administered oath of their offices at 10 PM by Chief Justice Tariq Pervez Khan at the Peshawar High Court building. The two judges are Justice Shahjehan Khan Yousafzai and Justice Dost Mohammad Khan, who took oath of their offices under the Constitution of 1973. The Governor of NWFP, Owais Ahmad Ghani administered oath to Chief Justice Tariq Pervez Khan at Governor House Peshawar on Friday.  Chief Justice Tariq Pervez Khan gave his consent on Thursday. Thereafter his notification was issued and he was sworn in as Chief Justice of PHC. Chief Justice Tariq Pervez Khan then administered oath to Justice Shahjehan Khan Yousafzai and Justice Dost Mohammad Khan at Peshawar High Court about 10 PM at Court Room No. 1 of Peshawar High Court. Justice Tariq Pervez Khan, Justice Shahjehan Khan Yousafzai, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Dost Mohammad Khan were amongst those judges who refused to take oath under the Provincial Constitutional Order (PCO) on November 3, 2007. Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan has, however, refused to take oath again, and said, "My conscience is not allowing me for oath afresh". He said, when contacted on the phone, that he was approached for oath but he refused. He said that if the stand taken on November 3rd was correct then how he can take oath afresh. He said, "When conscience does not permit for oath then how I would do justice?"   The situation has changed as Pervez Musharraf has gone and democratic government is ruling, therefore if the deposed judges come back so there was no illegality, these were the views of the lawyers' community. The judges in other provinces have already been sworn in to their offices under the Constitution, the lawyers said, adding then why not judges of Peshawar High Court? The Peshawar High Court, with reinstatement of Chief Justice and two senior judges, has 12 judges at the bench. According to sonority, they are Chief Justice Tariq Pervez Khan, Justice Shahjehan Khan Yousafzai, Justice Dost Mohammad Khan, Justice Jehan Zaib Rahim, Justice Said Maroof Khan, Justice Hamid Farooq Durrani, Justice Shahji Rehman Khan, Justice Ghulam Mohy-ud-Din Malik, Justice Syed Yahya Zahid Gilani, Justice Zia-ud-Din Khan Khattak, Justice Syed Musadiq Hussain Gilani and Justice Mohammad Alam Khan. Agencies add: Federal Secretary for Law Agha Rafiq has said that all the deposed judges should take fresh oath within one week, other wise they will be considered as retired from services. While talking to the journalists here on Friday in the Supreme Court before the fresh oath taking ceremony of the deposed judges, he said that the government has extended an offer to the deposed judges to restore them on their previous portfolios if they take fresh oath within one week while the judges who will not take oath during this time will be considered as retired from their offices. He also made it clear on the occasion that the judges who will take fresh oath will be restored according to their seniority. He refused to give any comment related to the restoration and fresh oath taking of deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.