Pakistan's new Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar has over-ruled an order issued by his predecessor Iftikhar M Chaudhry annulling the emergency imposed by the embattled President Pervez Musharraf.
Dogar, who was sworn in by Musharraf as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shortly after the imposition of emergency, said the verdict of Chaudhry and eight other judges of the apex court was "defunct" and null and void.
The order issued by Chaudhry and the other judges was the last act of defiance before they were removed from the Supreme Court by security forces. They had asserted that the government could not take any action that affected the independence of the judiciary.
Chaudhry and the eight other judges had also refused to endorse the Provisional Constitutional Order issued by Musharraf to suspend fundamental rights and to sack or replace the judges of the Supreme Court and provincial High Courts.
A statement issued by the Supreme Court said the decision against the emergency by Chaudhry and the other judges was "not given by the court".
The statement also said that those judges who were not called for taking oath under the Provisional Constitutional Ordinance "would not be able to continue working" or "take any court action".
Chief Justice Dogar also removed the Supreme Court's Registrar Faqeer Hussain from his office and sent him to the Law Commission. Dogar appointed Additional Registrar Sara Saeed as the acting Registrar of the apex court.
Before his appointment, Dogar was part of an 11-member bench of the Supreme Court that was hearing petitions challenging Musharraf's re-election in uniform in the October six presidential poll.
Chaudhry was at the centre of a confrontation between the judiciary and Musharraf since the military ruler tried to dismiss him in March. He was later reinstated.
Musharraf referred to the dragging legal battle against his re-election as one of the reasons for his decision to impose emergency in an address to the nation late last night. He also made pointed reference to the way the security forces and government officials had been "demoralised" and "humiliated" due to "judicial activism".