President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday imposed emergency in Pakistan, suspended Constitution and sacked the Supreme Court Chief Justice citing 'constant' judicial interference and rising militant violence, a move that came days ahead of crucial apex court ruling on the legality of his re-election.
In a swift reaction, an eight-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar M Chaudhry declared the emergency unconstitutional but the top judge was himself removed at the end of a day of fast-paced developments.
Justice Abdul Hamid Dogar, who was one of the judges in the bench that heard the case against the sacked Chief Justice and perceived to be pro-Musharraf, was appointed the new Chief Justice. He and five other judges took fresh oath under the new proclamation.
The apex court building was also surrounded by troops with judges inside but, Chaudhry, who was suspended in March and later reinstated after a bitter spat with the General, is believed to have refused to take fresh oath under the emergency proclamation.
Image: A fork-lifter being used to place road blocks on the way leading to the Pakistani Supreme Court.
Photograph: Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images
Also read: Musharraf: The growing siege mentality