Pakistan's Supreme Court will decide on suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry's petition "irrespective of the consequences" and despite previous court rulings being overturned by executive orders.
Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, who heads a 13-member full court hearing petitions filed by Chaudhry and others on his behalf, said in court on Monday that Chaudhry's case would be decided "on merit, irrespective of the consequences".
"We will deliver the judgment on merit and are least concerned with the post-judgment scenario," he was quoted as saying in Daily Times.
Chaudhry has challenged the presidential reference against him and also the composition and competence of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).
When Chaudhry's lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan recalled a Lahore High Court judgment in the 'Pervaiz Elahi vs the Government of Punjab' case in which the provincial assembly was restored, Ramday said the assembly was restored for only two minutes. The then governor had again dissolved it, "mocking" the high court verdict.
He also recalled that the Supreme Court had ordered restoration of the assemblies in Nawaz Sharif's era in 1990s, "but they were again dissolved within a few weeks".
"You urge the judiciary to pass detailed judgments but those judgments are rendered useless when things are reversed by the stakeholders," he told Ahsan.
Ahsan replied, "My client has refused to step down. The judiciary should feel proud that a CJ has refused to resign despite enormous pressure from the executive. He will uphold the court verdict and will not resign if restored to his office."