–Former military dictator asks court to stay proceedings till adjudication of his earlier plea
Former president and military dictator Pervez Musharraf, who is facing a high treason case for abrogating constitution, has approached the Lahore High Court (LHC) seeking a stay in the case being heard by the special court.
The plea filed by Musharraf, through advocate Azhar Siddique, stated that the appointment of a prosecution team and the constitution of a special court were illegal and in violation of Article 90 and 91 of the constitution. The application has also sought complete trial record of the special court.
The petition also asked the court to stay the trail at the special court until Musharraf’s earlier petition pending adjudication by the LHC is decided.
The application will be heard by LHC’s Justice Syed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi on Monday.
In his main writ petition filed in the LHC earlier, the former president had sought a stay on treason case trial being conducted against him until he recuperated and appeared before the court.
According to Article 6, any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance, the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.
On Dec 6, the special court constituted for the trial of Musharraf over high treason charges said that it would announce the verdict in the case on December 17.
A three-member bench headed by Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth and comprising Justice Shahid Kareem and Justice Nazeer Akbar heard the case on Thursday and said they would announce the verdict after hearing arguments of the new prosecution team formed by the government.
On November 27, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had stopped the special court from issuing the verdict it had earlier reserved in the said case. In its decision, the IHC had ruled that its order of stopping the special court from announcing its verdict was binding on the special court bench regardless of the fact that it comprises three high court judges.
Additionally, the high court had directed the government to notify a new prosecution team by December 5 as the government on October 24 had sacked the entire legal team engaged by the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government to prosecute the case.
The high treason trial of the former military dictator for imposing a state of emergency on November 3, 2007, has been pending since December 2013.
He was booked in the case in December 2013. Musharraf was indicted on March 31, 2014, and the prosecution had tabled the entire evidence before the special court in September the same year. However, due to litigation at appellate forums, the trial of the former military dictator lingered on and he left Pakistan in March 2016.
In September this year, a special court bench had decided to conduct the trial on a daily basis from October 8 to conclude the case.