A petitioner moved the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday against the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) decision of barring the special court from announcing decision in the treason case against former military ruler General (r) Pervez Musharraf.
The petition was filed by former Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) President Taufiq Asif to question whether the IHC has the jurisdiction to examine the proceedings of a special court comprising high court judges. The petition further questions whether IHC has the jurisdiction to act as an appellate court.
The petitioner said that there were attempts to withdraw the case on the grounds that the federal cabinet’s approval was not sought when the case against Musharraf had been filed. He added that the Interior Ministry’s petition in the case may have been filed with “ulterior motives” and questioned the maintainability of such a petition. He further stated that the former army chief had been declared a proclaimed offender after he had failed to appear before the court.
Arguing that the high court’s decision was in violation of the Constitution, the petitioner asked the court to dismiss it.
On November 27, IHC had stopped the special court from issuing the verdict it had earlier reserved in the said case. In its decision, the IHC had ruled that its order of stopping the special court from announcing its verdict was binding on the special court bench regardless of the fact that it comprises three high court judges.
Additionally, the high court had directed the government to notify a new prosecution team by December 5 as the government on October 24 had sacked the entire legal team engaged by the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government to prosecute the case.
The high treason trial of the former military dictator for imposing a state of emergency on November 3, 2007, has been pending since December 2013.
He was booked in the case in December 2013. Musharraf was indicted on March 31, 2014, and the prosecution had tabled the entire evidence before the special court in September the same year. However, due to litigation at appellate forums, the trial of the former military dictator lingered on and he left Pakistan in March 2016.
In September this year, a special court bench had decided to conduct the trial on a daily basis from October 8 to conclude the case.