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LHC grants Musharraf’s plea, declares special court’s formation ‘unlawful’

LAHORE: A bench of Lahore High Court granted a petition of former president Pervez Musharraf and declared formation of special court to hear high treason case against him as unlawful, ARY News reported on Monday.

Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi announced the court verdict.

The court in its verdict said that the Article VI could not be enforced from past. The bench also expunged clause (ix) of the Criminal Law Special Court (Amendment) Act 1976.

Earlier, the high court had reserved its verdict on petition against formation of the special court for high treason case against Musharraf.

Additional Attorney General (AAG) Ishtiaq A. Khan concluded his arguments before a three-member bench of the high court headed by Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi. Justice Ameer Bhatti and Justice Chaudhry Masood Jahangir were other two members of the bench.

In his arguments over the Article 6 and the federal cabinet’s decision, the AAG said that the Article VI was amended after the 18th Amendment in the constitution under which the November 03, 2007 proclamation of emergency was declared a heinous crime.

The government counsel also argued that the case against Pervez Musharraf was not the part of the agenda of the federal cabinet’s meeting on June 26, 2013.

In an earlier hearing the bench asked the petitioner’s counsel, “The special court has already announced the verdict, tell the court how a decision of the high court will affect that judgment.”

The bench called Barrister Ali Zafar, who was present in the courtroom, to rostrum and questioned, ” if the proclamation of emergency can be called high treason?” “As per my knowledge imposition of emergency could not be termed as treason,” the jurist told the court. “If the emergency is not treason, how it all started,” the court said.

“Under which law the special court framed charges,” the bench asked the Additional Attorney General.

The AAG read the indictment and said the charges were framed under the High Treason Punishment Act.

“If the matter was declared high treason in Abdul Hameed Doggar case,” the court questioned.

“The proclamation of emergency was declared unconstitutional in Abdul Hameed Doggar case.” “The emergency was not declared as high treason,” the AAG further said.

The court didn’t order any criminal case proceedings over the matter of proclamation of emergency, the AAG added.

The petition said that the constitution of a special court for hearing the case against Pervez Musharraf was unconstitutional. “An approval not sought from the federal cabinet for initiating the case against Pervez Musharraf,” according to the petition.

Nawaz Sharif constituted the special court on his discretion and relevant laws were not followed in appointment of the prosecutor and other matters related to the special court, the petition argued.

The petition seeks the high court to declare the constitution of the special court and its proceedings as unlawful.

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