Lahore High Court moved to review annulment of Musharraf’s conviction

Updated January 23, 2020

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“Where there is a statutory right of appeal available in the Supreme Court, a constitutional petition does not lie in the high court,” pleads a review application filed by Lawyers Foundation for Justice through its counsel A.K Dogar. — AFP/File
“Where there is a statutory right of appeal available in the Supreme Court, a constitutional petition does not lie in the high court,” pleads a review application filed by Lawyers Foundation for Justice through its counsel A.K Dogar. — AFP/File

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has been asked to review its decision of striking down complaint, trial and special court that tried and awarded death penalty to former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf for high treason.

“Where there is a statutory right of appeal available in the Supreme Court, a constitutional petition does not lie in the high court,” pleads a review application filed by Lawyers Foundation for Justice through its counsel A.K Dogar.

The application has been filed under section 114 read with Order 47 Rule 1 Civil Procedure Code and PLD 1970 SC 1 for review of the order passed by a LHC full bench on Jan 13 on a writ petition by Musharraf. The full bench is yet to issue its detailed order.

The review plea states that section 12(3) of Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act 1976 clearly provides that any party aggrieved by final judgment of the special court may prefer an appeal to the Supreme Court within 30 days of the passing of the judgment.

It relies on a SC judgment titled “Muhammad Raza Hayat Hiraj verses Election Commission-2015”, which ruled that interlocutory orders passed by the election tribunal impugned before the high court were not liable to be set aside in its constitutional jurisdiction as the petitioners before the court had a remedy available to them by the way of appeal under section 67 of the Act after disposal of the election petitions.

The foundation had also filed a civil miscellaneous application before the full bench challenging its jurisdiction to hear the petition of Musharraf.

In its review, it says the full bench had observed that the application will be considered but soon thereafter it was announced that the order would be announced later in the day.

It argues the writ petition of Musharraf was allowed by the bench without hearing the applicant as required under the law. It argues that the decision passed by the full bench is in violation of the principles of natural justice.

“Article 12(2) of the Constitution clarifies that the constitutional position by providing that the principle of protection against retrospectively does not apply to any act or action which is relatable to abrogation and subversion of the Constitution,” pleads the review against an argument by Musharraf about retrospective enforcement of the law in his case.

It asks the court to review its earlier order on a basic premise that when there is a statutory right of appeal available in the SC a constitutional petition cannot be filed before a high court.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2020