[JURIST] Several Pakistani protesters and an opposition lawmaker were injured and dozens of people were arrested Wednesday after members of a religious party tried to break through a police line to bring water to hundreds of lawyers and opposition activists gathered in front of the Supreme Court building in Islamabad to show their support for suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive] as he attended the latest session of his disciplinary hearing before the country's Supreme Judicial Council. Police responded with batons and the protesters responded by throwing rocks. Inside, the five judges on the disciplinary panel announced they would adjourn and meet again Thursday to consider Chaudhry's case. AP has more. IANS has additional coverage.
Chaudhry was technically made "non-functional" [JURIST report] by a March 9 order of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. No specifics were provided at the time of his suspension but documents subsequently disclosed [JURIST report] suggest he was officially removed on suspicion of misusing his influence to get his son jobs and promotions. Lawyers and opposition leaders critical of the move say, however, that the suspension was 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.