LHC declared special court in Musharaf case unconstitutional

LHC declared special court in Musharaf case unconstitutional

No proof of federal cabinet's approval found 


The three bench of the Lahore High Court  on Monday declared the formation of a special court as unconstitutional-which was formed to hear the high treason case against former military dictator general Pervez Musharaf.

A three-member full bench of the LHC, comprising Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi- Justice Mohammad Ameer Bhatti and Justice Chaudhry Masood Jahangir announced the unanimous decision.

The LHC bench also ruled that the treason case against the former president was not prepared in accordance with the law. The court will release the detail judgment later.

General Musharaf was sentenced to death on high treason charges by a special court in Islamabad on December 17, 2019, six years after the trial started. The case was filed by the PML-N government against former dictator Musharaf for suspending the Constitution on November 3, 2007- when he imposed emergency in the country.

In his petition against the special court verdict -General Musharaf had asked the LHC to set aside the special court’s decision for being illegal, without jurisdiction and unconstitutional for violating Articles 10-A, 4, 5, 10 and 10-A of the constitution. He also prayed for the suspension of the verdict till a decision on his petition is made.

Justice Naqvi had asked the federal government on Friday to submit a summary on the formation of the special court and had directed the state's lawyer to present arguments on Monday.

Additional Attorney General of Pakistan (AAG) Ishtiaq Khan submitted the reply of federal government. He said in the court that "It is the truth that the formation of the special court to hear the case against Musharaf was done without cabinet approval."

During the hearing on Friday, the LHC had posed questions regarding the legality of the treason case and the formation of the special court that conducted the trial and had handed former army chief General Musharaf the death sentence.

Barrister Ali Zafar, who has been appointed the court's amicus curea, said that the case against Musharaf seemed to have been filed on the behest of then prime minister Nawaz Sharif, as there is no record of the matter being on the agenda of any of the cabinet meetings held at the time.

"A case under Article 6 cannot be filed without the cabinet's approval," Barrister Zafar had insisted. The court asked if the matter was on the agenda of any cabinet meeting, to which Zafar had responded in the negative. 
                                Special correspondent

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