ISLAMABAD - Justice (retd) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso who has been picked up by the Election Commission of Pakistan to head the interim setup remained an ad-hoc judge in 1996 and gave a dissenting note in the judges’ appointment case in favour of Pakistan People’s Party.

Legal experts say that due to his dissenting note, the first clash took place between the judiciary and the executive. He was in the five-member bench that also included Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Justice Ajmal Mian, Justice Manzoor Sial and Justice Fazal Elahi, which gave the verdict in the judges’ appointment case.

It is said that on the day of the judgment of the case, he became absent on medical grounds because he was aware that the verdict would go against the PPP government.

Wahabul Kheri, who filed the petition regarding judges’ appointment in 1996, told The Nation: “The PPP government wanted to control the whole judiciary, so 40 judges in all the four high courts of the country were appointed on political basis.”

Shahid Orakzai, a senior journalist and legal expert, said Justice (r) Khoso gave a dissenting note in favour of the PPP government. He said Farooq Leghari, the then president, tilted to majority judges’ decision and, later, dismissed the Benazir Bhutto government.