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Lahore High Court declares formation of special court as unconstitutional

Syed Umarullah HussainiWeb Editor

13th Jan, 2020. 12:04 pm
Pervez Musharraf lahore high court

Lahore high court has declared the formation of special court unconstitutional.

It says that the formation of special court hearing Pervez Musharraf’s case is unconstitutional.

The Lahore High Court had reserved verdict on a set of petitions filed by former military ruler General Retired Pervez Musharraf challenging multiple actions against him.

The petitions in Lahore High Court includes conviction for high treason, establishment of trial court that convicted him, filing original high treason inquiry against him by government.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi hearing the petition.

Musharraf Death Sentence

Earlier on December 17 2019, special court in Islamabad sentenced former top military official Pervez Musharraf to death in high treason case.

Justice Nazar Akbar opposed the verdict of sentencing Pervez Musharraf to death and cleared him of the accusations while Justice Waqar Seth and Justice Shahid Karim handed him the death penalty.

Paragraph 66 of the verdict

“We are of the considered view that the accused in this High Treason case has been afforded more than his due share of fair trial.”

“The protected trial of a constitutional and not any ordinary offence that began six years ago in 2013, has yet to see its end in 2019.”

“The accused, given every opportunity to defend himself, has by his conduct in the proceedings only evinced his utter contempt for the law and legal institutions in this country.”

“The facts of this case well documented.”

“The documents clearly demonstrate the guilt on the part of the accused.”

Moreover “It proves beyond a shadow of reasonable doubt all the charges of High Treason leveled against accused by the State.”

“It is patent by the act and conduct of the accused facing trial, that he has persistently and stubbornly strived ever since the commencement of this trial, to delay, retract and in fact evade it.”

“It has been his plea throughout that either on account of ill health or for security hazards he could not reach up to this Court to face trial.”

“As a necessary corollary to what has been observed we find the accused guilty as per charge. ”

“The convict be therefore hanged by his neck till he dies on each count as per charge.”

“We direct the Law Enforcement Agencies to strive their level best to apprehend the fugitive/convict and to ensure that the punishment is inflicted as per law and if found dead, his corpse be dragged to the D-Chowk, Islamabad, Pakistan and be hanged for 03 days.”

Charges on Musharraf

The ex-president facing treason trial under Article 6 of the Constitution as well as Section 2 of the High Treason Act for imposing emergency in the country on November 3, 2007 that also resulted in the suspension of 61 judges of the superior judiciary, including then Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

Treason Case Timeline

November 29, 2007, retired general Pervez Musharraf took oath as a civilian president

He lifted the emergency, revoked the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO)

He also restored a Constitution amended on November 15, 2007.

August 18, 2008, Pervez Musharraf resigned as president after a nine-year rule in the country.

On July 22, 2009, Supreme Court  summoned him to defend his action regarding emergence

While on July 31, 2009, the apex court  declared Musharraf‘s decision to impose an emergency.

The ex-president refused to respond to the court

He departed for United Kingdom after which, his companions launched a political party “All Pakistan Muslim League (APML)” and made him its chairman.

March 23, 2013, Musharraf returned Pakistan on pre-homecoming protective bail for 10 days to participate in the general elections.

April 8, 2013, SC  summoned ex-military ruler in the treason case

The apex court directed the interior ministry to include his name in the Exit Control List (ECL).

On November 18, 2013, then Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry had established special court for the trial of Musharraf.

However, on December 12, 2013, the tribunal called him for proceedings of treason case.

March 30, 2014, the special court had indicted Musharraf

But on March 18, 2016, he left for Dubai to “seek medical treatment”.

On May 11, 2016, special court declared Musharraf an absconder.

June 7, 2018, SC had allowed Musharraf to contest elections on the condition to appear before the court

But on August 29, 2018, the special court told  Interpol  refused to issue red warrants for ex-president’s repatriation from UAE.

October 8, 2019, special court had decided to hear the case on the daily basis.

November 19, 2019, the court  concluded the case and reserved the verdict for announcement on November 28

But on November 23, 2019, Musharraf challenged special court‘s move in Lahore High Court.

Chief Justice Athar Manallah stated that there were unique, unusual and unprecedented circumstances in the case.

Moreover, the special court said that it will announce  verdict of high treason case against  Musharraf on December 17.

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