SC asked to set aside high court verdict in Musharraf case

Updated February 20, 2020

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The Supreme Court has been asked to set aside a Lahore High Court (LHC) full bench verdict striking down the trial and special court that tried and awarded death penalty to former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf for high treason. — AFP/File
The Supreme Court has been asked to set aside a Lahore High Court (LHC) full bench verdict striking down the trial and special court that tried and awarded death penalty to former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf for high treason. — AFP/File

LAHORE: The Supreme Court has been asked to set aside a Lahore High Court (LHC) full bench verdict striking down the trial and special court that tried and awarded death penalty to former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf for high treason.

In a constitutional petition filed at the Lahore registry, Lawyers Foundation for Justice’s chairman Advocate A.K Dogar argues that the LHC had no territorial jurisdiction to hear petition by Musharraf. He states that where there is a statutory right of appeal available in the Supreme Court, a constitutional petition does not lie in the high court.

He adds 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 Supreme Court within 30 days of the passing of the judgment.

The lawyer argues that the judgments of the superior courts cited by the LHC full bench in its impugned decision are distinguishable and not applicable at all in the case of Musharraf.

Challenging an argument of Musharraf accepted by the LHC, Mr Dogar argues that Article 12(2) of the Constitution clarifies that constitutional position by providing that the principle of protection against retrospectively does not apply to any act or action relatable to abrogation and subversion of the Constitution.

He states that the full bench admitted the petition of Musharraf without hearing a civil miscellaneous application moved by the petitioner (the foundation) as required under the law.

The lawyer contends that the action of the federal government to consult the chief justice of Pakistan and of all provincial high courts for the appointment of the special court was not against the Constitution.

He asks the apex court to grant special leave to appeal under article 185 (3) of the Constitution and set aside the impugned order by the LHC issued on Jan 13 last.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2020