Pakistan's chief justice reinstated

Supreme Court says the Pakistan president's suspension of the top judge was illegal.

    The ruling on Friday sparked celebrations by Chaudhry's supporters outside the court [AFP]

    It could further complicate his bid to win a new five-year presidential term this fall.
     
    The chief justice was suspended on March 9 following allegations that he abused his position, including using influence to get his son a job, fiddling petrol expenses and that he had a penchant for expensive cars.
     
    The government filed a statement in the Supreme Court last month in which it also accused Chaudhry of harassing judges, showing bias in appointments and intimidating police and civil servants.
     
    Celebrations
     
    On Friday the court wrapped up the 43-day hearing of an appeal by Chaudhry against his March 9 ouster.
     
    Your Views

    "Since the day Musharraf arrived in 1999 he has been usurping the rights of others"

    Jim ibarra, Cyberjaya, Malaysia

    Send us your views

    The announcement sparked celebrations by lawyers who had spent the day waiting outside the court for the verdict.

    Retired Major General Rashid Qureshi, 

    General Musharraf's spokesman, said the court ruling reinstating Chaudhry would be honoured and respected.

    "The president has said the judgement of the Supreme Court will be honoured, respected, and adhered to," he said.

    Shaukat Aziz, Pakistan's prime minister, said the government accepted the decision but that it was "not the time to claim victory or defeat".
     
    Ramday, speaking before the ruling, said the court would not be swayed by the political sensitivities of the case and stressed its objectivity despite massive protests by pro-Chaudhry lawyers against Musharraf.
     
    "The judiciary is here not as rivals, monitors or superiors to any institution," he said.
     
    Musharraf's action against the judge sparked mass pro-democracy protests and political violence in Karachi that left more than 40 dead.
     
    Chaudhry's supporters say the president ousted the judge because he could have kept Musharraf from maintaining his grip on power and because he took on cases about people allegedly abducted by Pakistan's intelligence agencies.
     
    Musharraf, the president and army chief, hopes to get himself re-elected in uniform by the outgoing parliament this year, defying the constitution which says he should quit as head of the military by the end of 2007.
     
    General elections are due no later than early next year.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.