Pakistan Supreme Court order on Chaudhry likely Friday


Islamabad : Pakistan's Supreme Court is Friday likely to pass a verdict or reserve its ruling on a constitutional petition challenging President Pervez Musharraf's suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry.

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An unnamed aide to Musharraf was quoted as saying Friday in The News that the president would not like to drag on the issue after the Supreme Court decision, even if it goes against the government.

A 13-member full bench of the apex court is hearing a clutch of petitions filed on Chaudhry's behalf against Musharraf's reference to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) on the president's March 9 decision to suspend the judge.

Chaudhry's chief counsel Aitzaz Ahsan told the court Thursday evening that he would take 45 minutes to complete his right of reply to the government defence.

He asked the court to quash the presidential reference filed on the basis of statements of intelligence agencies' chiefs and said that if it was not quashed it would "prove to be the root of all evil", the newspaper said.

Ahsan told the bench, headed by Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, that if no quashing took place, he would summon the president, the prime minister and the chiefs of intelligence agencies for cross-examination.

"If they fail to come for cross-examination, then I will again move this august court in this regard," Ahsan said.

Ahsan said the presidential action established non-application of mind, malice and collateral purpose. He said the reference was not sustainable and it was "the mother of more evils that would open new doors of instability, therefore, it should be scratched".

Musharraf's March 9 action of suspending Chaudhry, allegedly for misusing his position to get a favoured posting for his (Chaudhry's) son, has triggered nationwide protests.