LAHORE - Justice Rana Baghwandas, who refused to take oath under Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO), said the only purpose of imposing November 3 martial law in the form of emergency and PCO was to strangle judiciary to save an individual and perpetuate his rule. He pointed out that this fact was proved by the move that neither national assembly nor provincial governments were dissolved on the fateful day. Addressing the lawyers at Lahore High Court Bar Association before their weekly rally, he said it was not the first time when the judiciary was ambushed. Whether there was a dictatorial regime or political set-up every government played havoc with judiciary and undermined its utility. Later responding to a question, he said two thirds majority was not required for the restoration of judges. After passing a resolution in the National Assembly the judges could be reinstated through an executive order. Justice Rana who is rated highly amongst his colleagues for his nobility and sagaciousness is the only judge of the superior courts who would not be able to resume as a judge once the judiciary is restored because he had retired after attaining the age of superannuation under the Constitution. Mr Baghwandas was accorded heroic welcome on his first ever visit to the Lahore High Court Bar Association since the eruption of judicial crisis on March 9, 2007. Hundreds of lawyers led by LHCBA President Anwar Kamal welcomed their hero at the main gate of LHC, showered him with rose petals and took him to the venue amid thunderous sloganeering. They were shouting "Go Musharraf Go", "Rana Teraye Janasar beshumar Beshumar". Mr Baghwandas started his speech with the name of the God Almighty and punctuated it with word Allah. He said it had happened for the first time that more than 60 judges declined to bow before a dictator and took a firm stand on the issue. He dispelled the impression that there was no difference between the present judges and of the past who had not taken the oath under PCO. He explained that in the past when the judges were removed under PCO they immediately accepted it and obtained their pension benefits. Later Supreme Court condoned that unconstitutional steps and parliaments made them the part of Constitution by approving it with two thirds majority. This time, however, the situation is different altogether. Neither any of the judges nor the people of Pakistan consider or accept them as retired judges. Mr Baghwandas said how could hand-picked judges even validate those steps about which Pervez Musharraf himself admitted in a TV interview with BBC that those were extra-constitutional.