Cairo, Jul 9 - Egypt's top court today delivered a sharp retort to Mohamed Mursi, telling state institutions that all its ruling were "binding" on them, a day after the newly- elected President reinstated the dissolved parliament in direct confrontation with the Army and the judiciary.
The presidential decree that came yesterday had surprised several sections of the society, and questions were raised over its legal tenability.
Responding to the decree that nullified its order to dissolve the parliament on certain technical grounds, Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court said that all of its decisions were final and binding.
"All the rulings and decisions of the Supreme Constitutional Court are final and not subject to appeal...
and are binding for all state institutions," the court said in a statement.
The statement came after Parliamentary speaker Saad El-Katatni called for a general parliamentary session to take place tomorrow.
The court however stressed that it was "not a part of any political conflict... but the limit of its sacred duty is the protection of the texts of the constitution."
The presidential decree that appears to have sparked a verbal oneupmanship puts the newly-elected dispensation in conflict with the judiciary on one side and the ruling military on the other.
Though President Mursi and Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi made a joint appearance at the armed forces graduation ceremony today, the rift between the Supreme Council of Armed Forces and the executive was for everyone to see.
In a surprise move yesterday, Mursi asserted his authority by nullifying the dissolution of the parliament, but in line with the supreme court declared that fresh elections will be held within 60 days of the adoption of a new constitution.
Following the decree, both SCAF and High Constitutional Court had held emergency meetings to discuss the developments.
While the judiciary has made it clear that it is in no mood to back down, the military council is yet to make its stance official.
In the country at large, the President's move to recall the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament was met by both praise and indignation, and some papers described it as a "political earthquake".
"Mursi says to SCAF: Check mate," read the headline of the independent daily Al-Watan.
The Brotherhood's victory in the parliamentary election had made the liberal-secularists in the country uneasy and some prominent secular politicians, including Mohamed ElBaradei, criticised Mursi's decision to upturn the verdict.
"In any decent and democratic country, a president cannot disrespect the judiciary," said Rifaat al-Said, the head of the leftist Al-Tagammu party.
"Whether Mursi likes it or not, he must respect the judiciary's decisions," he told state television.
The Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party said on its website that half of the military forces who had been present to secure the parliament's lower house returned to their barracks following the decree, though the other half will stay to maintain for security.
The Muslim Brotherhood, that dominates the parliament, had described the dissolution of the legislature by a court last month as a "soft coup".
The president's decree defied the June 14 ruling by the Supreme Constitutional Court to dissolve the parliament on grounds that its election had violated certain norms.
Following the ruling, the military took over the legislative functions of the parliament, further exacerbating unrest among Egyptians, who saw the moves as the Army's attempt to hold on to power.
According to Al Jazeera it was still unclear whether Mursi had launched an open challenge to the military or had worked out an agreement with them. PTI