[JURIST] Lawyers for the Pakistani government Wednesday urged the reconstituted Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] to validate General Pervez Musharraf's declaration of emergency. In court papers filed in response to a challenge petition [JURIST report] brought earlier this week, counsel for Musharraf argued that the petition was itself illegal under the Provisional Constitution Order [text] of November 3 which provided in its Article 3 that:
No court including the Supreme Court, the Federal Shariat Court, the High Courts and any Tribunal or other authority shall call in question the PCO, the Oath of Office (Judges) Order 2007 or any order made in pursuance thereof.The reply brief also asserted that the challenge could not be sustained under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution [text] - empowering the Supreme Court to act on a question of public importance with regard to fundamental rights - as the fundamental rights protected under Articles 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 19 and 25 of the Constitution had been suspended under the PCO. Counsel additionally rejected the contention that the declaration of emergency had been made in bad faith:
The allegation of malafide is baseless. Every thing has been done bonafide and in the interest of the State. It is also denied that the action has been taken to crush the judiciary and to make it subservient to the wishes of the respondent and the executive...For any State to function, all the three pillars of the State must act in harmony in the best national interest.A hearing of the case before the full bench of the reconstituted court is scheduled for Thursday. Most members of the pre-emergency court led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry were effectively dismissed by the declaration of emergency rule; Chaudhry and most of his colleagues are still under virtual house arrest at their residences in Islamabad. APP has more.
Top Pakistani bar sources told JURIST over the weekend that the original challenge filed by former provincial minister Tikka Iqbal 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].