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LHC verdict nullifying special court formation challenged in SC

LHC verdict nullifying special court formation challenged in SC
February 3, 2020
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict that declared the formation of the special court unconstitutional. LHC Rawalpindi Bench Bar Association former president Taufeeq Aif, through Hamid Khan advocate, contended that the Lahore High Court had no power to hear the formation of the special court, praying that the verdict should be nullified. He stated that the LHC had not properly interpreted the amendment to Article 6. “Pervez Musharraf has been absconding since 2016. For this reason, the trial was ordered against him in his absence,” he said. The petitioner said that Pervez Musharraf was given several opportunities to appear in court. “The LHC cannot question that decision to try the accused in his absence as directed by the SC,” he said. He said that the LHC verdict seems to be an insult to chief justice’s advice regarding the formation of the Supreme Court. “The LHC judges have negated their appointment by announcing the verdict,” he said. Earlier on January 16, former president Pervez Musharraf challenged the verdict of the special court in the Supreme Court. Pervez Musharraf, in the 65-page appeal filed through Salman Safdar advocate, appealed to court to declare the verdict of the special court null and void. “The constitution was violated six times while completing the trial of the high treason case,” he contended. He stated that he had filed the appeal in the stipulated period so that the murder of justice should not be committed. “I am not satisfied with the verdict of the special court delivered on December 17,” he said. The petitioner stated that he had not been given the right to fair trial. “The formation of the special court is also unconstitutional. The approval for the treason case was not sought from the cabinet. Moreover, the special court did not gave me an opportunity to record the statement,” he said. On January 13, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had nullified the formation of the special court that tried the Musharraf high treason case. 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.