After four years, SC fixes Musharraf’s appeal against death penalty verdict for hearing
By News Desk
November 10, 2023 03:27 PM
The Supreme Court has scheduled the appeal of former late president General ® Pervez Musharraf challenging his death penalty verdict for hearing after four years, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The court accepted Musharraf's appeal for a regular hearing and adjourned the case till November 21.
The Supreme Court has also accepted the appeals against the decision to declare the formation of the special court hearing the Pervez Musharraf treason case as illegal.
In December 2019, a special court sentenced Musharraf to death after finding him guilty of high treason for subverting the constitution in 2007. He took power in a 1999 coup.
However, in January 2020, a three-member bench of the Lahore High Court had declared the special court unconstitutional.
Interestingly, Musharraf filed the appeal in the SC even though a three-judge bench of the Lahore High Court had already declared “unconstitutional” the filing of a high treason case against him, the formation of the special court and its proceedings -- leading to the abolition of the death penalty handed down to him.
Subsequently, the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) had challenged the LHC verdict
Its petition is yet to be fixed before a bench.
A four-judge larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Athar Minallah heard the case on Friday.
The Supreme Court has issued notices to Pervez Musharraf's family, Ministry of Interior and Federation on the appeals.
The court also directed to assign numbers to the appeals of Tawfiq Asif, Pakistan Bar Council, Sindh High Court Bar, while it also directed the registrar office to assign a number to the appeal of Hafiz Abdul Rahman Ansari.
The court order stated that Musharraf's lawyer informed that the registrar had objected to the appeal and the appeal against the objection was fixed in the chamber of retired chief justice Umar Atta Bandial. The judge ordered to fix the hearing of the case before a larger bench but the case was not fixed and Musharraf died.
In 2020, the SC registrar’s office had returned Musharraf’s appeal on the grounds that unless the petitioner surrendered himself, his plea could not be entertained.
According to the court order, Pervez Musharraf's lawyer said that the Constitution of Pakistan also talks about giving the right to appeal. The lawyer further said that all the concerned parties were asked if they had any objection to the appeal but none of them had objected.
The order of the Supreme Court further said that it is regrettable that despite the order of the judge in the chamber, the appeal was not decided till date, no accused could be declared accused due to judicial behavior, it is the constitutional right of a convicted person to file an appeal.
The court ordered that Musharraf's lawyer should contact his widow, son and daughter while the Supreme Court Office put numbers on Musharraf's appeal.
According to the order, the Supreme Court was told that the decision of the Lahore High Court was illegal and in excess of authority. The Lahore High Court gave a decision which has no precedence in the judicial history of Pakistan. Lawyers should assist the court regarding such unconstitutional process, if Musharraf's heirs want, they can become party in the case.
After the order, the court adjourned the hearing of the case till November 21.
Reporter Amanat Gishkori