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New Pakistan Supreme Court to hear emergency 'challenge'

[JURIST] The reconstituted Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] led by Musharraf emergency appointee Abdul Hameed Dogar [JURIST report] indicated Monday that its full bench will hear a petition later this week challenging General Pervez Musharraf's November 3 declaration of emergency rule [PDF text]. Pakistan's independent Geo TV reports that former provincial minister Tikka Iqbal is arguing that only the president, not the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), has authority to enforce the emergency under Article 232 of Pakistan's constitution [text]. The declaration was issued by Musharraf in his capacity as COAS. Counsel for Iqbal urged the high court Monday to order the release of lawyers, political workers and media persons arrested after the emergency declaration. Geo TV has more. APP has additional coverage [PDF].

Top Pakistani bar sources told JURIST over the weekend that the Iqbal application was a "decoy petition...filed to wangle a stamp of legitimacy to the illegal acts of this government" and that the case was actually designed to elicit a high court ruling endorsing the emergency decree [JURIST report].

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