First hearing scheduled for Jan 9
The Lahore High Court constituted on Tuesday a full bench which will hear former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s petition challenging the formation of a special court that sentenced him to death earlier this month and the trial against him.
Justice Mazahir Ali will head the bench, which also includes Justice Amir Bhatti and Justice Masood Jahangir. The first hearing will take place on January 9 next year.
On December 17, a special bench sentenced former president Pervez Musharraf to death in a high treason case under Article 6 of the Constitution. The law states that any person who abrogates or suspends the Constitution “by use of force or show of force” is guilty of high treason.
The three-member bench, comprising Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court and Sindh High Court’s Justice Nazar Akbar, announced the verdict after two judges voted in favour of giving him a death penalty while one opposed it.
The interior ministry had petitioned the court, asking for it to order the special court hearing the treason case to delay announcing the verdict.
Musharraf was indicted in the case in March 2014 for suspending the Constitution in 2007. In 2016, he left to seek medical treatment in Dubai and hasn’t returned since.
The special court was stopped from announcing the verdict on November 28. It was ordered to appoint a new prosecutor by December 5 and hear the arguments from Musharraf’s side before announcing any verdict in the interest of a fair trial.
On December 16, the Lahore High Court issued a notice to the federal government on Musharraf’s application challenging the high treason proceedings against him. Musharraf had asked the high court to declare the proceedings against him as “unconstitutional”.
The PML-N government had filed the treason case against Musharraf over his decision to impose an extra constitutional emergency in November 2007.
More than 100 hearings for the case have taken place and four judges have been changed along the way.
Musharraf was indicted in the case in March 2014 after he appeared before the court and rejected all charges.
On March 18, 2016, he left Pakistan for Dubai for medical treatment after his name was removed from the exit control list on the orders of the Supreme Court.
A few months later, the special court declared him a proclaimed offender and ordered the confiscation of his property, owing to his continuous inability to appear in court.
Later, his passport and identity card were also cancelled on orders of the apex court.