ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A senior judge in Pakistan reportedly quit Monday from a 14-member Supreme Court bench hearing charges against suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.
The resignation of senior Justice Falak Sher comes as the country remained gripped in a political crisis in Pakistan resulting from the March suspension of Chaudhry by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.
Sher was quoted as saying he was resigning because in the past he had challenged Chaudhry superseding him for the chief justice post and so it would not be right for him to belong to a special panel hearing the Chaudhry case, the Press Trust of India reported. The report said Sher had not made his feelings known when the bench was set up but chose to do so in open court.
He declined to stay on even after winning endorsement from Chaudhry's attorney.
Acting Chief Justice Rana Bhagwandas reconstituted the bench after the Sher resignation, the report said.
Protests have continued since Chaudhry was suspended on abuse of authority charges. During the weekend, protesters supporting Chaudhry and Musharraf clashed in Karachi. At least 42 people died in the fighting. On Monday, the city remained virtually closed due to a general strike called to protest the killings, PTI reported.
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