IHC to hear govt,Musharraf’s pleas against special courts reservation of verdict

IHC to hear govt,Musharraf’s pleas against special courts reservation of verdict
IHC to hear govt,Musharraf’s pleas against special courts reservation of verdict

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) is set to hear the interior ministry and former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s pleas today, requesting it to stop the special court from announcing its verdict in the high treason case against the former president.

A three-member bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah will hear the plea.

The special court constituted to try the former military ruler for high treason, is set to announce its verdict on November 28. However, the interior ministry on Monday had submitted a plea, stating that the accusers to be tried with the former president were not included in the trial.

The prosecution team was de-notified on October 23, but it proceeded with the case on October 24 without having any authority in the matter.

The petition further said the prosecution team submitted written arguments for which it had no authority.

The special court, without giving the prosecution team a chance to notify, reserved the verdict on November 19 and set the date of November 28 for announcing it.

The ministry further said the government has the power to change the prosecution team and appealed to the IHC to declare null and void the special court’s order of November 19. It further appealed to stop the court from announcing the final verdict on November 28.

Separately, Musharraf’s lawyer Salman Safdar in his plea stated that the former army chief should be treated as per the law, adding that Musharraf was not given the right to defend himself in the case.

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Musharraf’s plea mentioned that the decision is a contradiction to Article 4 and Article 10A of the Constitution and there the November 19, a special court should be suspended.

The petition further said the special court should be barred from giving judgment until Musharraf had a chance to be cleared.

High treason case

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had filed the treason case against Musharraf over the president’s imposition of extra-constitutional emergency in November 2007.

Earlier this year, head of the prosecution, Mohammad Akram Sheikh, tendered his resignation. In his resignation letter sent to the interior secretary, Sheikh expressed his inability to proceed with the case after the imminent change of government at the centre.

Sheikh was appointed as the head of the prosecution in the case in November 2013, by the then-PML-N led government.

The former army chief was indicted in the case in March 2014 after he appeared before the court and rejected all charges.

On March 18, 2016, the former president left Pakistan for Dubai for medical treatment after his name was removed from the exit control list on the orders of the Supreme Court.

A few months later, the special court had declared him a proclaimed offender and ordered the confiscation of his property owing to his continuous inability to appear.

Later, his passport and identity card were also cancelled on orders of the apex court.

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