SC moved for fast completion of high treason case

November 27, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Lahore High Court Bar Association approached the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking, a directive for the special court hearing the treason case against former president Gen Pervez Musharraf to comply with its earlier observation in which it was held that the trial was a case of paramount importance under the Constitution and should be proceeded with expeditiously, and with due diligence.

A three-page petition filed by the bar association requested the apex court to direct the special court and the federal government to follow the April 4, 2019 SC directives. It alleged that the federal government, under one pretext or another, was dragging its feet in presenting and proceeding with the trial, and that the special court was not proceeding expeditiously in accordance with the directives of the apex court.

In its earlier order, the SC had stated that control over the proceedings of the trial could not be allowed to vest in the accused. The judgement had also held that Mr Musharraf would lose his legal right to defence if he failed to turn up before the special court hearing the treason case against him for imposing the Nov 3, 2007, emergency.

Bar association wants apex court to issue suitable directives to the special court

The decree was issued by the SC to help the special court reach a logical end, giving a clear directive to go ahead with the treason case without having to record the statement of Mr Musharraf under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code in case he did not show up before the trial court.

“If the accused avails defence under Section 342, then he should appear before the special court; otherwise, he will lose the right of defence,” the order had stated.

The order had asked the special court to decide on the matter after hearing arguments of the prosecution and if Mr Musharraf appeared before the trial court, he would have all the normal rights of defence. Further, the order said, the SC would keep the matter pending.

Mr Musharraf left for the United Arab Emirates for treatment of a spinal injury in March 2016 and has since then been out of the country.

Meanwhile, the vice chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council, Syed Amjad Shah, has strongly condemned the filing of a petition in the Islamabad High Court by the government seeking directives for the special court to refrain from announcing its verdict in the high treason case.

“It is difficult to understand why the incumbent government, claiming itself to be a believer in the democratic process and the rule of law, is bent upon helping dictator Gen Musharraf who not only subverted the Constitution by ousting the democratically elected government, but was also the real culprit behind the May 12, 2007 mayhem, when dozens of advocates in Karachi were killed by the MQM provincial government under his dictatorial regime. … thus Musharraf was allegedly a national culprit guilty of the violation of Article 6 of the Constitution,” he said in a statement.

“Therefore, he deserves no sympathy or favour, and the government should refrain from obstructing the proceedings of the special court with respect to the high treason case against him,” Mr Shah said.Asif

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