Wednesday February 21, 2024

SC resumes hearing of pleas against Musharraf’s sentence today

November 28, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will take up today (Tuesday) appeals filed against the conviction of former military dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharaf in a high treason case.

A four-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Amin-ud-Din Khan and Justice Athar Minallah will resume hearing in the appeal of the former military dictator against his conviction in a high treason case. The case was not fixed for hearing since 2019 and the appeals challenging the verdict of the Lahore High Court for declaring the formation of a Special Court for trying Pervez Musharaf for imposing a state of emergency in 2007 as unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan building can be seen. — AFP/File
The Supreme Court of Pakistan building can be seen. — AFP/File 

On the last hearing, held on November 22, the court had directed Hamid Khan, counsel for the petitioner Taufeeq Asif to submit written formulations. Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa had asked the learned counsel Hamid Khan to confine his arguments to the extent of the judgment of the Lahore High Court and should not touch the merits of the high treason case adding that by discussing the merits, the appeal filed against the conviction in high treason case could be affected.

Earlier, the court granted one week's time to Salman Safdar to contact the legal heirs of Gen (retd) Musharaf and take their instructions. The chief justice had told the counsel that he could take two instructions from the legal heirs of Musharraf, first if they were satisfied with the verdict of the Special Court or second if they wanted to further pursue the appeal. The court had also asked the counsel to provide the contact numbers of Bilal Musharraf, son of later Pervez Musharaf, Sehba Musharaf, spouse of the former President as well as their daughter.

On November 10, the bench had allowed the four-year-old appeal filed by former military dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharaf to challenge the verdict of the Special Court, awarding him death sentence in a high treason case for imposing emergency rule on November 3, 2007. Similarly, the court had also allowed the appeals challenging the verdict of the Lahore High Court on January 13, 2020, quashing the special court verdict announced in Musharaf’s high treason case.

Sindh High Court Bar Association, Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and others had challenged in the apex court the verdict of the Lahore High Court. The PML-N government had lodged a complaint against Pervez Musharaf with the Special Court constituted for trying the former military dictator under high treason for imposing an emergency in the country on November 3, 2007

Later on December 17, 2019, a three-member bench of the Special Court headed by Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth (Late) and comprising Justice Nazar Akbar and Justice Shahid Karim found Musharraf guilty of high treason and sentenced him to death. Later on, the special court on December 19 in the detailed verdict directed the law enforcing agencies to apprehend the former military dictator and hang him by his neck till he dies on each count as per charge.

On February 13, 2020 Musharraf filed an appeal in the apex court against its Registrar's objections, praying to entertain his appeal against the special court’s decision after setting aside the objections of the Registrar. On February 25, 2020 Justice Umer Ata Bandial heard heard the appeal of Pervez Musharaf against the registrar's objections in the chambers, and ordered to fix the instant appeal before a three-member bench. Thereafter Musharraf's appeal was neither fixed before any bench during former Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed nor during the tenure of Justice Umer Ata Bandial as Chief Justice of Pakistan.