ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - In a strongly-worded ruling, a Pakistan supreme court panel has rejected the government's effort to present evidence against its suspended chief justice.
The 13-member bench also used the occasion Monday to ban unauthorized access of government intelligence operatives to the court's offices. In addition, the panel ordered the head of the intelligence bureau to sweep the court and homes of all judges for bugging devices, the Dawn newspaper reported Tuesday.
The judges made their ruling after finding some highly "scandalous" material against suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and other judges in a reference placed before the court by the government's lawyer, the report said. Details were not disclosed.
Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, one of the judges, was quoted as telling the government lawyers, "What message you will convey to the world about the president, about the head of state, because you maligned him, you have done all this in his name, (and) he may not be knowing what you are filing."
Justice Chaudhry was suspended last March by President Pervez Musharraf for allegedly abusing his office. Chaudhry had denied the allegations. The issue has sparked widespread protests throughout the country, creating a major political crisis for Musharraf.
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