The 14-member Larger Bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan headed by the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, has delivered an epoch making judgement on July 31, 2009, heralding a revolutionary departure from the past constitutional verdicts declared by this honourable court. In the general elections of 2008, the overwhelming majority of the people of Pakistan had voted for a change. Unfortunately, there was no - until now - visible change in any sector of the national life. On the contrary, in spite of democratic governments, comprising elected representatives, at the centre as well as in the provinces, the fruits of democracy have been missing by way of total absence of good governance. In this state of desperation the people at large, looked towards the judiciary at all levels for readdress of their million grievances, because of their high expectations from the Lordships of the Supreme Court and High Courts under the leadership of my Lord Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who had emerged as a symbol of change in the nation. The judges' case provided the first opportunity, in the eyes of the man in the street, to test the mettle of the Apex court. The top constitutional experts are the best judge to comment upon the historic judgement of July 31. Most of them would perhaps refrain from passing any judgement on the short verdict and would like to wait for the complete text. However, there is more than enough bold departure in the present short judgement from the old verdicts based on the Doctrine of Necessity, to suggest that, a 'historic step in the right direction' has been taken in a 'thousand miles long journey, towards the achievement of our national goal'. The 14-member Larger Bench of the Supreme Court has dared to pass such a judgement where their predecessors dreaded to tread. All PCO judges, 88 in number, including those adorning Supreme Court Bench have been sent packing. The December 2007 emergency and all steps flowing out of it from November 3 to December 15, 2007, as ordered by former President Musharraf have been declared unconstitutional. Those taking oath under PCO for the second time and those appointed during the Dogar regime also relieved, bringing the total number of the affected justices to 103. Such a sweeping change by one stroke of pen is unheard of not only in Pakistan but anywhere else in modern times. As if this was not enough Abdul Hameed Dogar has been declared unconstitutional chief justice in the present historic verdict. Wait a minute The Islamabad High Court has also been abolished. The judges affected have been directed to go back where they came from after ceasing to hold their present offices. The complete text is likely to have many startling revelations according to the Attorney General of Pakistan Sardar Latif Khosa, the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) ceases to exist and has lost its utility. My personal initial are that: * This is for the first time in the history of Pakistan that CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has risen expectations of the people to uphold the rule of law in the country. * Also for the first time, bold demonstration has been made to declare the emergency pronounced by a chief of army staff/president as illegal and unconstitutional. A deadly blow has been delivered to the passed practice of doctrine of necessity. I would refrain at this stage to pronounce the burial of this doctrine, as it all depends on the strong bedrock of the political process and the high calibre of the political leadership. If this leadership becomes frail and faltering, leaning on undemocratic forces, even the dead Doctrine can re-emerge from the grave like the ghost of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. The people at large and the political leadership on both sides of the political divide has warmly welcomed the judgement which augurs well for the flourishing of democracy in Pakistan. The writer is the president of the Pakistan National Forum