[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] Thursday extended the suspension [JURIST report] of the Supreme Judicial Council's (SJC) inquiry into the alleged misconduct of ousted Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive], denying a government request to resume proceedings and dismiss petitions filed by Chaudhry. Chaudhry has challenged the legality of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's March 9 order suspending Chaudhry [JURIST report] from his position as chief justice in the Supreme Court. Government lawyers have argued that the SJC has the authority to review the constitutionality of the suspension and that the Supreme Court does not need to rule on Chaudhry's case. PTI has more. AP has additional coverage.
Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, the top lawyer on Chaudhry's legal team, also said Thursday that the suspended chief justice will file a defamation suit against Musharraf for "attributing" an escalation of violence [JURIST report] in Karachi last weekend to Chaudhry. Fighting between anti-government and pro-government groups frustrated Chaudhry's scheduled visit to address a meeting of lawyers in Karachi, and left more than 150 people wounded and 41 dead. ANI has more.