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Thursday, April 22, 2021

March 26, 1981, Forty Years Ago: Zia’s Tyranny

This is the front page of The Indian Express published on March 26, 1981.

By: Editorial |
March 26, 2021 12:18:33 am
This is the front page of The Indian Express published on March 26, 1981.

Pakistan’s chief justice and eight other judges lost their jobs when they refused to take a new oath of office giving President Zia-ul-Haq unfettered right to change the constitution. Chief Justice Anwar-ul-Haq told General Zia in a letter that his conscience and earlier Supreme Court decisions defining the limited legality of the military regime prevented him from continuing in office. All judges were required to swear by a constitutional order promulgated by General Zia giving him powers to change the constitution. Refusal to do so meant automatic dismissal. Lawyers in Karachi said the order deprived the people of automatic recourse to justice.

Shukla’s Sacking

Opposition members demanded an explanation from the government over what they described as the sacking of Union civil supplies minister, Vidya Charan Shukla. S C Jha (Janata) said since the practice was to introduce the minister in Parliament when he was inducted in the cabinet the reason of his dismissal should also be given. He said from the reports it appears that Shukla was dismissed because of the “sugar golmal” and if so, an enquiry should have been conducted. He was supported by L K Advani, Bhupesh Gupta, N Shahi and others.

PM Summons Solanki

Gujarat Chief Minister Madhavsinh Solanki has been summoned over the complex question of talks on the reservation of seats in post-graduate medical institutions. According to observers, this could mean that the prime minister may have drawn up a formula or a short-term plan on the issue. This late evening development seems to indicate a break in the impasse in the government’s talk with the medicos.

Jagmohan Replaced

Jagmohan, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, has been shifted to Goa, Daman and Diu to replace Pratap Singh Gill. S L Khurana, former Home Secretary, will be Delhi’s new LG.

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