Dawn : Supreme Court reinstates suspended Pakistan chief justice

Friday, July 20, 2007

Supreme Court reinstates suspended Pakistan chief justice

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 20, 2007

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday reinstated Pakistan's chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, ruling that his suspension by President General Pervez Musharraf was “illegal.”

Presiding judge of the 13-member full court, Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, pronouncing the judgement said President Musharraf's order suspending Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry was “set aside as being illegal.”

The court also invalidated the presidential reference against justice Iftikhar.

While the reinstatement order was unanimous, the verdict about the invalidation of the presidential reference was a 10-3 majority decision.

Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry's March 9 suspension had sparked protests by lawyers and opposition parties that grew into a powerful pro-democracy movement.

As lawyers celebrated outside the court in Islamabad, Chaudhry's chief counsel Aitzaz Ahsan told reporters that the case alleging misconduct by Chaudhry had been “quashed.”

“He has been restored and it is a victory for the entire nation.”