[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] ruled Monday that it has jurisdiction over legal disputes involving the suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive] and admitted Chaudhry's petition challenging the legality of his March 9 suspension [JURIST report] by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. The ruling, considered a victory for Chaudhry, frustrates the efforts of government lawyers, who had argued [JURIST report] that the five-member Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) was a full court capable of both investigating the alleged misconduct and reviewing the legality of the suspension. The government had sought to end the Supreme Court's suspension [JURIST report] of the SJC's inquiry.
The high court's ruling was delayed [JURIST report] last week, in what legal observers say may have been a reflection of internal disagreements amongst the 13 justices that sit on the bench. On Monday, a Pakistani government minister indicated that the government had prepared a new complaint [JURIST report] against Chaudhry and will file the document at an "appropriate time." In May, presiding Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday said that the court will make a judgment on the merit of Chaudhry's petition [JURIST report] regardless of possible political consequences. Reuters has more. PTI has additional coverage.