–Musharraf’s counsel says special court was formed by then PM Nawaz Sharif without cabinet’s approval
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday admitted a petition filed by former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf challenging the verdict reserved by the special court in the high treason case against him.
On Saturday, Musharraf had approached the LHC against the verdict reserved in the case and sought suspension of his trial in absentia.
Justice Syed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi, who presided over the proceedings, had on Monday asked Musharraf’s lawyer to present two-point statements and assist the court regarding the maintainability of the petition in the LHC.
Today, the LHC removed its objections and admitted the petition for hearing. The court also issued a notice to the federal government and summoned Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan to provide assistance to the court.
The court was also informed that the federal government had petitioned the IHC to stop the verdict. Justice Naqvi said he agreed with the 2016 “Mustafa Impex” judgement by the Supreme Court and asked Rahim to assure them about the maintainability of Musharraf’s petition in the LHC.
Musharraf’s counsel cited the case of model Ayyan Ali as a reference. He said the special court had no legal status because, at the time that it was formed, the approval of the cabinet was not sought.
Rahim argued that when questions are being raised about the formation of the special court, what legal status does its verdict have? The court summoned a draft regarding the formation of the special court in the next hearing of the petition.
The LHC decided to remove its objections to the petition and set it for hearing on November 28, the same day the special court is scheduled to announce its verdict.
HIGH TREASON CASE:
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had filed the treason case against Musharraf over the president’s imposition of extra-constitutional emergency in November 2007.
Earlier this year, head of the prosecution, Mohammad Akram Sheikh, tendered his resignation. In his resignation letter sent to the interior secretary, Sheikh expressed his inability to proceed with the case after the imminent change of government at the centre.
Sheikh was appointed as the head of the prosecution in the case in November 2013, by the then-PML-N led government.
The former army chief was indicted in the case in March 2014 after he appeared before the court and rejected all charges.
On March 18, 2016, the former dictator left Pakistan for Dubai on the pretext of medical treatment after his name was removed from the no-fly list and hasn’t returned since.