ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will take up on Monday identical petitions seeking prosecution of former military dictator Pervez Musharraf under the High Treason (Punishment) Act 1973. The apex court admitted petitions for hearing. Pervez Musharraf returned to Pakistan on March 24 to contest the general elections after spending over four years in self-exile.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, will hear the identical constitutional petitions filed against the former president Pervez Musharraf.
On Friday last, another petition was filed in the Supreme Court by former president of the Lahore High Court Bar0 Association (LHCBA), Rawalpindi Bench, Ahsan-ud-Din Sheikh, praying for directing the Federation to prosecute former President Pervez Musharraf under sections 2 and 3 of the High Treason (Punishment) Act 1973.
Earlier, President LHCBA, Rawalpindi Bench, Taufiq Asif, and Maulvi Iqbal Haider filed the petitions under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.
Both the lawyer leaders made former president Pervez Musharraf and the Federation of Pakistan through the Ministry of Law and Justice and Parliamentary Affairs as respondents.
The petitioners prayed to the apex court to direct the Federation to take Pervez Musharraf in custody. They contended that former president Pervez Musharraf by his acts, and orders of Nov 3, 2007 and later, had assaulted the judiciary and tried to destroy this vital organ of the state, adding that he undermined, curtailed and negated the independence of the judiciary.
The petitioners further submitted that Pervez Musharraf also blocked and obstructed access to justice by detaining the judges holding their offices constitutionally and by substituting them with those appointed unconstitutionally and invalidly. The petitioners recalled that it had been so held by the apex court in the judgment in the Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA) case.
The former military dictator has filed nomination papers to contest the general elections from four seats, including Karachi, Islamabad, Chitral and Kasur.
Pervez Musharraf, however, faced a setback when early Friday Muhammad Saleem, the Returning Officer in Kasur, rejected his nomination papers. A local lawyer Javed Kasuri raised objections to Musharraf’s candidature for NA-139 constituency, arguing that the former military dictator did not qualify to contest the elections under articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. The Returning Officer (RO), after upholding the objections, rejected Musharraf’s nomination papers.