CAIRO - Egypt's administrative court said on Thursday it had no jurisdiction to rule on two cases that determine the fate of parliament, leaving the future of the house hanging in a legal labyrinth.
Judge Abdel Salam al-Naggar, the head of Cairo's administrative court, referred to the Supreme Constitutional Court an appeal against a presidential decree to reinstate the dissolved parliament.
It was also looking into the legality of a constitutional declaration issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces -- which ruled Egypt after Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year-- which granted the military sweeping powers including legislative control.
Parliament has been at the centre of a power struggle between the military which oversaw Egypt's transition from Mubarak's rule, and Islamist President Mohamed Morsi who was sworn in last month.
The political standoff between the two parties is being played out in the courts amid a dizzying array of legal rulings and appeals that has left parliament stuck in limbo.
Earlier this month, Morsi ordered parliament to convene, in defiance of a military decision to disband the house in line with a ruling by the Supreme Constitutional Court.
But on July 11, the top court annulled the decree, a ruling that Morsi vowed to respect.
Morsi's decree was applauded by supporters who believed the court's decision to disband parliament was political, but it set off a fire storm of criticism from opponents who accused him of overstepping his authority.
According to the country's interim constitution, drafted by the military generals who took charge after Mubarak's overthrow, the military assumed the dissolved parliament's powers.
Morsi's decision was seen as an opening shot in a power struggle between Egypt's first civilian leader and the Mubarak-appointed generals who wanted to retain broad powers even after they transferred control on June 30.
The SCAF consists of generals appointed by Mubarak, as was the head of the constitutional court which annulled parliament because it found that certain articles of the law governing its election invalid.
Critics said the decision was politically motivated.