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Pakistan high court releases judgment on reinstatement of ousted chief justice

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] on Wednesday released the detailed judgment [text, PDF] on the July 2007 decision to reinstate Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [official profile]. The July 2007 ruling came in response to the suspension of Chaudhry [JURIST report] from the court by then-president Pervez Musharraf [BBC profile] in March 2007. In the judgment explaining the 10-3 decision, the court stated:

[The March 2007 order] whereby Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was restrained by the President to act as Chief Justice of Pakistan and Judge of the Supreme Court ... is patently illegal as it has no backing of Constitution or any law conferring power on the President to pass such type of restraint order. Consequently, [the] subsequent ... appointed [of] Mr. Justice Javed Iqbal as Acting Chief Justice is also void... Resultantly, the composition of Supreme Judicial Council with Mr. Justice Javed lqbal as Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan, and its proceedings till 15th March, 2007 are ... unconstitutional.

Following the ruling, Chaudhry resumed his role as Chief Justice until being removed again [JURIST report], along with several other members of the judiciary, during a state of emergency declared by Musharraf in the following November. Musharraf's successor, President Asif Ali Zardari [BBC profile], reinstated [JURIST report] Chaudhry and other judges ousted by Musharraf in March 2009. Chaudhry's reinstatement came as the conclusion to a campaign by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif [BBC profile] and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz [party website], along with the Pakistan lawyers' movement [JURIST news archive] to see Chaudhry reinstated. Chaudhry had maintained throughout [JURIST report] that he still held the position of chief justice under the Pakistani constitution [text].

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