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Pakistan court overturns 2007 emergency rule

Pakistan?s top court ruled Friday that former president Pervez Musharraf General Pervez Musharraf (Urdu: پرويز مشرف) (born August 11 1943) is President of Pakistan and the Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army who came to power in wake of a coup d'etat. ?s decision to impose emergency rule and dismiss dozens of senior judges two years ago was unconstitutional.

A 14-member Supreme Court bench headed by recently reinstated Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry (Urdu: افتخار محمد چودھری) (born 12 December 1948), is the Chief Justice of Pakistan.  had summoned Musharraf to appear in person or through a lawyer, but the ex-president ignored the notice.

"The Proclamation of Emergency issued by General Pervez Musharraf as the Chief of Army Staff on November 3, 2007... (is) hereby declared to be unconstitutional, ultra vires [Latin, Beyond the powers.] The doctrine in the law of corporations that holds that if a corporation enters into a contract that is beyond the scope of its corporate powers, the contract is illegal.  of the constitution and consequently being illegal," Chaudhry said, reading the court's order.

Chaudhry also said Musharraf had illegally sacked about 60 Supreme Court and High Court judges and that his appointment of a new chief justice was "unconstitutional."

The Chaudhry-led bench also ruled "to be void" the validation of emergency rule by Musharraf-appointed chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar and declared all constitutional amendments by Musharraf to be illegal.

The court order said that the decision would not disrupt the present constitutional system, including the presidency, office of the prime minister and the parliamentary system A parliamentary system, also known as parliamentarianism (and parliamentarism in U.S. English), is distinguished by the executive branch of government being dependent on the direct or indirect support of the parliament, often expressed through a vote of confidence. .

Musharraf was replaced last year as Pakistan's president by Asif Ali Zardari Asif Ali Zardari (Urdu: آصف علی زرداری) (Sindhi:آصف علي زرداري) (born July 21, 1956) is the chief of the Zardari tribe and the , whose party won general elections and who reinstated Chaudhry and his fellow judges in March following a protracted pro·tract  
tr.v. pro·tract·ed, pro·tract·ing, pro·tracts
1. To draw out or lengthen in time; prolong: disputants who needlessly protracted the negotiations.

 political crisis.

Opposition leader Nawaz Sharif Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif (Urdu: میاں محمد نواز شریف ) (born December 25, 1949 in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan)[1] is a Pakistani politician.  and lawyers had organised a march on the capital Islamabad to demand that Zardari reinstate Chaudhry, during mass protests last March that risked further destabilising the nuclear-armed country.

Under Western pressure Zardari agreed to defuse the standoff with Sharif, who had urged the masses to rise up against the government.

A spokeswoman for Zardari welcomed the court's decision.

"This decision is the last nail in the coffin of dictatorship and would be written with the golden words in our history," Zardari's media adviser Farahnaz Isphahani said in a statement.

"It is the success of institutions of the state, democratic forces of the country and the civil society, whose efforts have culminated in the restoration of democracy," she said.

Lawyers outside the Supreme Court's white marbled mar·bled  
1. Made of or covered with marble: a marbled façade.

2. Having a mix of fat and lean: a well-marbled beef roast.

Adj. 1.
 building and across Pakistan danced with joy as the decision was announced by the judges. Traditional sweets were distributed in bar rooms and markets.

"This is a historic decision. We welcome it," Raja Zafarul Haq, a senior official in Sharif's party, told reporters.
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Publication:AFP Asian Edition
Date:Jul 31, 2009
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