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Pakistan Supreme Court postpones ruling on jurisdiction over Chaudhry case

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] Friday delayed its ruling on whether it has jurisdiction [JURIST report] over the legal disputes involving the suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive], putting that off until next week. Legal observers say the delay may reflect internal disagreement amongst the thirteen justices that sit on the bench. Chaudhry's defense team also brushed off three affidavits filed by three intelligence directors under Musharraf's government, which accused the suspended chief justice of wanting to head an interim government [JURIST report] and spying on fellow judges. Chaudhry's top lawyer, Aitzaz Ahsan, characterized the allegations as "fairy tales." The Press Trust of India has more. AFP has additional coverage.

The postponement came a day after an estimated 7,000 Pakistani lawyers, journalists and opposition members participated in a another protest in Lahore, the capital city of Pakistan's Punjab province, demanding the resignation of President General Pervez Musharraf for his March 9 suspension [JURIST report] of Chaudhry as well as Musharraf's imposition of an emergency media ordinance [JURIST report] on Monday. AP has more. Many Pakistani lawyers and opposition leaders believe Chaudhry's suspension to be an assault on the independence of the country's judiciary and an indirect bid by Musharraf to continue his eight-year rule in an election year.

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