[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] will not be influenced by post-judgment possibilities in deciding the petition filed by suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive], presiding Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday said in court Tuesday. Chaudhry claims his removal was illegal and that Pakistan's Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) lacks competence to try him for alleged abuses of office. Ramday said that the court "will deliver a judgment on merit" regardless of potential consequences, and will not concern itself with possible future executive orders overturning its decision along the lines of some that have followed past high court rulings against executive interest.
On Saturday, thousands of Pakistanis rallied outside the court [JURIST report] in support of Chaudhry, who returned to the building for the first time since being removed [JURIST report] in March by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf [official website] after allegedly "receiving numerous complaints and serious allegations for misconduct, misuse of authority and actions prejudicial to the dignity of office of the Chief Justice of Pakistan." Many Pakistani lawyers and opposition leaders believe Chaudhry's suspension was a bid by Musharraf to undermine judicial independence and continue his eight-year rule in an election year. IANS has more.