LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday issued a notice to the federal government on a civil miscellaneous application by former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf, challenging proceeding of high treason, establishment of the special trial court and other actions against him.

Hearing the application, Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi asked Advocate Azhar Siddique, the counsel for Musharraf, about reason behind filing a fresh application when a main petition with the same prayer was already pending adjudication.

The counsel stated that the fresh application was to halt trail court’s proceedings at once as the trial court was going to announce its verdict again.

Responding to another court’s query, the counsel further said that there was no need to refer the matter for hearing before a larger bench as arguments in the case were near to close.

A federal law officer also endorsed the view of the counsel.

The judge issued a notice to the government for submission of a written reply to the application by Dec 17 (today) when he will be hearing main writ petition as well.

Earlier, Advocate Siddique briefly argued that the complaint against Musharraf had been filed on direction of the then prime minister by the then secretary interior for initiation of proceedings who in isolation was directly aggrieved by the act of the petitioner.

He argued that the complaint had been filed without adopting procedure qua consultation and approval of the cabinet required under the law and principle set by the Supreme Court in Mustafa Impex judgement.

He said mandatory procedure as set in High Treason Act, 1973 as well as Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1976 had not been followed in letter and spirit as well.

He pointed out that after perusing report and para-wise comments of the ministry of interior and ministry of law filed in main writ petition it transpired that the very basis of filing of a complaint was not only illegal, without jurisdiction but in violation of the SC judgment.

The counsel urged the court to suspend all actions including filing of the complaint, submission of challan, appointment of prosecution team and the constitution of the trial court.

Published in Dawn, December 17th, 2019