Apex court discards Musharraf’s review petition

Published January 30, 2014
The Supreme Court of Pakistan.— File photo
The Supreme Court of Pakistan.— File photo

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Thursday disposed of the review petition filed by former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf against the July 31, 2009, verdict denouncing the Nov 3, 2007, proclamation of emergency by him, DawnNews reported.

The apex court’s 14-member larger bench, headed by Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani, disposed of the petition, citing that the plea was not based on merit and the arguments presented were irrelevant to the case.

Earlier during today’s hearing, counsel for Musharraf, Advocate Sharifuddin Pirzada, said unconstitutional steps had been taken several times in the country’s past and the judiciary had allowed these steps on important issues.

To substantiate his claims, Pirzada gave examples of Canada and India where emergency had been imposed.

Upon hearing this, Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja inquired if the Article 6 was also applicable in Canada, to which Pirzada responded that not in Canada but in few other countries it was applicable.

While giving a reference of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pirzada stated that the Quaid had prohibited federal courts from interfering in the matters of High Courts and his stance was that the courts should not interfere in matters of the federal government.

Advocate Pirzada replied that it was essential for a judge to be impartial and a judge should pass judgments without accepting any influence.

Chief Justice Tassaduq asked Pirzada to point out which paragraph in the application proved the chief justice was prejudiced.

On Dec 23, 2013, Musharraf had filed a petition after a delay of over four years, seeking review of the landmark July 31, 2009, decision but the review petition was returned by the court office by raising eight objections, against which an appeal was preferred.

The review petition had pleaded that Musharraf was facing trial before the special court for the offence of high treason on the basis of July 31, 2009, verdict of the apex court, also accepting for the first time that the constitutional deviation by clamping Nov 3, 2007, emergency was for public good and to get rid of former Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry as well as some judges since their removal had then become impossible under the normal legal procedures.

The review petition argued that former elected Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz had recommended taking extra-constitutional measures of proclaiming Nov 3 emergency.

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