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Pakistan high court judge resists government bid to deny jurisdiction over Chaudhry case

[JURIST] Pakistan Supreme Court Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday Monday refuted arguments made by government lawyers that the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] should not "interfere with [the Supreme Judicial Council's (SJC)] proceedings or assume jurisdiction" of the inquiry into alleged misconduct by ousted Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive] because the SJC is a fully independent court that is capable of reviewing the legality of Chaudhry's March 9 suspension [JURIST report]. Ramday retorted that if the SJC was indistinguishable from a court, then Pakistan's constitutional provisions [text] governing the SJC would be superfluous because the "supreme court [already] existed." Government lawyers had argued that that the five-member SJC was a full court capable of both investigating the alleged misconduct and reviewing the legality of Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf's March 9 order suspending Chaudhry, and sought the Supreme Court to end its suspension [JURIST report] of the SJC's inquiry.

Last Thursday, the Supreme Court of Pakistan extended [JURIST report] that suspension, denying a government request to resume the SJC's proceedings and dismiss a petition filed by Chaudhry. AP has more.

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