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Pakistan president bypassed cabinet with CJ suspension: Chaudhry lawyer

[JURIST] Hamid Khan, a lawyer for the Pakistan Bar Council [official website], argued before the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] Thursday that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's March 9 suspension [JURIST report] of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive] was unconstitutional, alleging that Musharraf failed to consult the cabinet and that it only addressed Chaudhry's suspension on May 19. On Wednesday, senior lawyer and former high court judge Fakhruddin Ibrahim argued before the same court that Musharraf did not have authority to suspend Chaudhry because the 2002 referendum that kept Musharaff in power after his initial 1999 military coup was not supported by any constitutional provision and therefore lacked legal effect.

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 later this year. AP has more. AP has additional coverage.

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