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LHC adjourns hearing of Musharraf’s petition until Dec 17

LAHORE: A bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday heard petition of former president Pervez Musharraf seeking suspension of the special court’s decision of reserving the verdict in the high treason case against him, ARY News reported.

Musharraf’s counsel in his arguments said that the former prime minister initiated this case over personal grudge, Supreme Court didn’t ordered the government to this respect.

“Whether the matter was presented in the parliament,” the court asked. The matter was not brought before the parliament, the court was informed. “The cabinet met once prior to year 2018 when a reply required to be filed in the supreme court,” the counsel said.

“It was the emergency or breach of the constitution, three to four senior judges have given their opinion over it,” the court said. “You didn’t inquire into the matter and talking about Article 6,” the bench remarked. “If you had to initiate a treason case then what was the need of an inquiry,” the judge questioned. “Is this process meets the transparency required over the matter,” he further said.

“In case the legal requirements were not met, the government could take back the complaint or not,” the court asked. The court directed the government lawyer to get instructions from the interior secretary over the matter.

Additional Attorney General Ishtiaq A. Khan requested the court time for getting instructions from the secretary interior.

The court granted him time and adjourned the hearing until December 17.

Earlier, the court raised critical questions with regard to the case. The judge questioned as to how Musharraf’s act in 2007 fell under treason. “If proclamation of emergency and violating the constitution are two different things,” the court posed question.

Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi asked the government lawyer, if he had brought the record of Musharraf’s case.

Federal government’s lawyer informed the bench that the case record has been submitted in the court.

The court in a previous hearing ordered submission of the court record including details about the formation of the special court for the trial.

Musharraf’s counsel Muhammad Azhar Siddique in previous hearing contended that the complaint against Musharraf had to be filed by the federal government. Instead, it was filed on the directives of the former prime minister

He added that the prosecution team was to be formed with the approval of the cabinet, but it was formed on the directives of the former prime minister.

The counsel pleaded to the court to declare formation of the special court as null and void as legal procedure was not followed for constitution of the court.

Justice Naqvi inquired as to how could an act carried out in October 1999 make an act on November 3, 2007 fall under treason.

Petitioner Pervez Musharraf, in his petition, had made a request to the LHC to stay the trial in absentia being conducted against him until he recuperates and appears before the court.

He maintained that owing to his deteriorating health, multiple life-threatening ailments and of his aged mother, he is unable to return to Pakistan ever since.

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