Court returns Musharraf application against his conviction in treason verdict

Islamabad, PakistanUpdated: Dec 28, 2019, 07:22 PM IST
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Musharraf was quoted as saying Saeed "is involved in Kashmir" and that he "supports" that involvement. Photograph:(Reuters)

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A three-judge bench of the LHC Chief is scheduled to take up the main petition on January 9.

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday returned the application filed by former president and military dictator Pervez Musharraf against his conviction in the high treason case by a special court, citing unavailability of the full bench during winter vacations.

A legal panel comprising of Khawaja Ahmad Tariq Rahim and Azhar Siddique had filed the application under Section 151 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) in a pending main writ petition of Musharraf under Article 199 of the Constitution challenging all actions of the special trial court, Dawn reported.

A three-judge bench of the LHC Chief is scheduled to take up the main petition on January 9.

The special court had announced its verdict on December 17 and handed down death penalty to Musharraf with a 2-1 majority.

In his application, the former military dictator asked the High Court to set aside the special court`s verdict for being illegal, without jurisdiction, unconstitutional and in violation of Articles 10-A, 4, 5, 10 and 10-A of the Constitution.

Advocate Siddique told Dawn that the registrar`s office returned the application as the full bench was not available during the winter vacations.

He said the application would be filed in the first week of January. The 85-page application further stated that Musharraf was not given a chance to present his arguments.

It said, "The hastily announced judgment is emanating from a prosecution case which suffers, for all intents and purposes from an admitted, noticeable and unexplained delay of over five years from the date of the alleged offence and initiation of the proceeding."

The application also assailed paragraph 66 of the special court`s verdict wherein its head Justice Waqar Seth had stated, "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."

The application argued that the president of the special court had crossed all religious, moral, civil and constitutional limits, while ruthlessly, irreligiously, unlawfully, unrealistically awarding a sentence against the dignity of a person.

Earlier this month Musharraf had filed an application in the LHC, urging it to halt the special court from sentencing him in absentia.

In the petition, the former dictator had challenged the formation of the special court holding his trial under charges of high treason and legal flaws committed in the procedure.Musharraf was booked in the treason case in 2013 for imposing a state of emergency in the country on November 3, 2007, and suspending the Constitution till the mid of December 2007.