Islamabad: A Pakistani lawyer has approached the country’s Supreme Court to set aside the verdict of a high court that annulled the death sentence of self-exiled former dictator Pervez Musharraf.
The special court in Islamabad on December 17 last handed down the death penalty to the 74-year-old retired General, now based in Dubai, after six years of hearing a high-profile treason case against him.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had filed the treason case against the former army chief in 2013 over the imposition of an extra-constitutional emergency in November 2007, which led to the confinement of a number of superior court judges in their houses and sacking of over 100 judges.
On January 13, Pervez Musharraf’s trial in the treason case was declared as “unconstitutional” by the Lahore High Court (LHC), leading to the annulment of the death sentence against the former president.
The Lahore High Court declared that the formation of the special court was “unconstitutional” and that the treason case against Pervez Musharraf was not prepared in accordance with the law.
In an appeal on Monday, senior counsel Hamid Khan, representing petitioner Advocate Taufiq Asif, requested the top court to set aside the LHC verdict by declaring it illegal and without lawful authority, Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported.
The petitioner argued that the high court through its order had virtually invalidated and rendered ineffective Article 6 of the Constitution, which has a special significance and importance in the constitutional history of Pakistan.
In its order, the high court had declared constitution of the special court a violation of the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act, 1976 and said the amendment to Article 6 of the Constitution, which deals with high treason under the 18th Amendment, could not be given retrospective effect to constitute an offence committed much earlier.