The judgment came after the 14-judge larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry completed the hearing of constitutional petitions regarding PCO judges, appointments of judges of higher judiciary and November 3, 2007 steps.
The Supreme Court in its short verdict declared the steps of November 3, 2007 taken by former president Pervez Musharraf as unconstitutional. Article 279 of the Constitution was violated on November 3, 2007, it said.
It termed as illegal and unconstitutional the sacking of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and the other higher judiciary as well as the appointment of Justice Abdul Hamid Dogar as chief justice.
The oath taken by President Asif Ali Zardari will not be affected by the SC verdict, is said.
All the appointments made in the higher judiciary of Justice Abdul Hamid Dogar have been termed illegal.
It termed as unconstitutional all the appointments of judges during November 3, 2007 to March 24, 2008.
It said the number of Supreme Court judges will continue to remain 16.
It declared unconstitutional all the steps taken by Pervez Musharraf during November 3, 2007 to December 15, 2007 including the increasing of number of superior judges through finance bill.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry announced the verdict.
The verdict said all the appointments of judges on and after November 3, 2007 under PCO were unconstitutional. The case of PCO judges will be referred to the Supreme Judicial Council, it said.
The announcement of today’s verdict sent a wave of jubilation outside the Supreme Court and at all the bar associations. Sweets are being distributed as people and lawyers are chanting slogans in support of the judiciary.
The 14-judge larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry reserved the judgment after completing the hearing of the case and announced it after a delay of over four and a half hour.
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