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LHC takes up Musharraf’s pleas today

LHC takes up Musharraf’s pleas today

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) is set to hear on Thursday three civil miscellaneous applications filed by convicted former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf challenging multiple actions against him, including the high treason case, formation of the trial court and filing of the complaint by the then government.

The LHC full bench seized with the matter comprises Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Mohammad Ameer Bhatti and Justice Chaudhry Masood Jahangir.

On Dec 27 last year, the LHC registrar office had returned these applications due to unavailability of the full bench due to the winter vacation.

A legal panel comprising Khwaja Ahmad Tariq Rahim and Azhar Siddique filed the applications again on Wednesday.

The three-judge full bench recently constituted by LHC Chief Justice Sardar Mohammad Shamim Khan is scheduled to take up the main petition on Jan 9.

Hearing the main petition of Gen Musharraf as a single bench, Justice Naqvi had referred it to a larger bench pointing out important legal questions involved in the matter. Later, the then chief justice formed the larger bench.

The special court of Islamabad announced its verdict on Dec 17 and handed down the death penalty to Gen Musharraf with a two to one majority.

In the civil miscellaneous applications, Gen Musharraf asked the LHC to set aside the special court’s verdict for being illegal, without jurisdiction and in violation of Articles 10-A, 4, 5, 10 and 10-A of the Constitution.

The former president pleaded that the impugned verdict be suspended till a decision on the main petition and directives be issued to the federal government to produce complete record of the special court.

He also specifically assailed paragraph 66 of the special court’s verdict wherein Justice Waqar Seth in his minority view said: “We direct the law enforcement agencies to strive their level best to apprehend the fugitive/convict and to ensure that the punishment is inflicted as per law and if found dead, his corpse be dragged to the D-Chowk, Islamabad, Pakistan, and be hanged for three days.”

Gen Musharraf said: “The wordings in paragraph 66 of the impugned judgement, although holding minority view, are still an exercise of languages which directly violates Article 2 of the code of conduct to be observed by judges.”

Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2020

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