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LHC nullifies formation of special court in Musharraf high treason case

LHC nullifies formation of special court in Musharraf high treason case
January 13, 2020
LAHORE (92 News) – The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday nullified the formation of the special court that tried the Musharraf high treason case. Earlier, the court had reserved the verdict on the plea challenging the formation of the special court. The petitioner stated that the due legal process was not adopted while appointing the prosecutor. He prayed to court to declare the proceeding and formation of the special court illegal. The petitioner stated that the due legal process was not adopted while appointing the prosecutor. He prayed to court to declare the proceeding and formation of the special court illegal. On December 17, the special court had handed down death penalty to former president Pervez Musharraf in the high treason case. A three-member bench of the special court headed by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and comprising of Justice Nazar Akbar of the Sindh High Court (SHC) and Justice Shahid Karim of the LHC announced the short verdict. However, one of the judge dissented from the sentence. According to the verdict, Pervez Musharraf had violated the constitution on November 3, 2007. It has been stated in the verdict that the violation of the constitution is proved against Pervez Musharraf and he is awarded death penalty under Article 6. The high treason case against the former president for clamping the state of emergency on Nov 3, 2007, has been pending since December 2013. He was booked in the treason 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. The special court had announced that it would deliver its verdict in the case today. However, the government's prosecutor, Advocate Ali Zia Bajwa, said that they had submitted three petitions today. On December 14, the formation of a special court in the high treason case was challenged in the Lahore High Court (LHC). Former president Pervez Musharraf’s counsel Khawaja Tariq Raheem, in a petition, had contended that the formation of the special court is an unconstitutional step. He stated that the federal cabinet’s approval was not obtained to try the high treason case against former president Pervez Musharraf. “The former prime minister had formed the special court on his discretion,” he said. He prayed to court to declare the proceedings of the special court unconstitutional. On December 12, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) order stopping the special court to announce the verdict on the high treason case was challenged in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. On December 5, the special court had given 12 days to the new prosecution team to prepare the high treason case against former president Pervez Musharraf. Justice Seth Waqar remarked that the court will announce the verdict after hearing the arguments on December 17. Justice Nazar Akbar remarked that they are following the Supreme Court and not angry with anyone. Earlier, a larger bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had stopped the special court from announcing the verdict in the high treason case against Musharraf. The court ordered the special court to appoint the prosecutor and announce the verdict after listening to all parties.